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Ambling along Swanage sea front I passed by a gloriously dilapidated building – admittedly not the most popular of tourist attractions, they do hold a certain appeal for photographers 🙂

Trompe-l'œil on Swanage Pier Head


Stopping for a better look I had the bizarre sensation of my brain doing cartwheels as it processed the visual signals of a mind bending trompe-l’œil.

This wonderful mural was painted during the 2007 Purbeck Arts Week by the artists Antonia Phillips and Nina Camplin as part of their Shocked Custard project. From it’s closure in the ’90s the building has slowly fallen into disrepair as successive controversial planning applications have failed – sadly their mural too is gradually suffering the ravages of time and a sea front location. (Look here for more on the mural and building.)

Parked cars and dinghy storage prevented me capturing it in it’s entirety and, though tempted to move the stacked barriers and ‘men at work’ sign, I felt that perhaps they were quite appropriate. The biggest challenge though was capturing that initial impact and, after a few failed attempts, it dawned on me that it was all a matter of perspective …

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)