I got taken to tea at One Aldwych the other day. The cavernous foyer is dominated by this bronze rower by André Wallace, made in 1998.
The oarsman is crammed in a tiny, water-filled boat clutching absurdly long oars. He is alert and ready, his toes curled round the transom. Is he poised to abandon ship? Or just embarrassed at being caught in the bath in this public place?
Wallace has an obsession with fitting bodies into boat shapes. He feels they project feelings of departures and arrivals, the passage of time and our own mortalities.
It's a very powerful image. Even if all I wanted was a nice cup of tea....