More on Monday: Circles

Yesterday I posted this image to Silent Sunday:

… and confused a hell of a lot of people!

I had over 40 comments that ranged from:

"Am I still drunk?"


"Fab pic – slightly confused!! Would make more sense with a drink I think!x"


"I don’t get it, but I think I like it if that makes sense lol! x" (my personal favourite)

This rather intriguing photograph was taken on Cardiff Bay Barrage, South Wales and has been the source of much bemusement to visitors that saunter across to watch the yachts coming in and out, for a good few years now. In fact, it's missed by an awful lot of people because it's not actually explained or advertised anywhere on the Barrage!.Quite often, it is only when someone pays attention to why someone else is standing in that exact spot that it is noticeable.

As Honiebuk said in her comment:

"I had to look twice and realised that it’s a bit like the Channel 4 ads – you have to be in the ‘right’ spot to take this photo to see the effect. They must have been very specific where they painted and the angles, width etc."

That's exactly the point, wandering around the vicinity you could be excused for thinking that a Cardiff City Highways representative had been a bit slap happy with some yellow paint! There are yellow lines seemingly randomly painted on everything: tarmac, pavements, dock gates, railings, etc. It is only when you stand a specific yellow cross out of the four painted on the ground that it all lines up to see the above image. There's no reason why, it's art!

This clever optical illusion was painted by 'Felice Varini and uses the Barrage structures and paint to create a collage that results in circles. The art highlights the many parts that are needed to make up the operational structure of the Barrage.' (

For images of it out of alignment see here.

Oh and well done to the only person who knew what it was: SAHMLovingIt! Sorry I planted your comment into moderation for a few hours so I could leave everyone else guessing, hope you don't mind?

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  1. Mcai7td3 says

    Very clever!! must have taken some doing, will definitely look out for it if I am ever in the area.

  2. says

    Ah ha… so that's what all the random blobs of paint are about. I did wonder. Thanks for clearing that up! (Not that I had time to take a picture – I was running the Cardiff Half Marathon last time I sauntered across the barrage.)

  3. Tempest says

    I'm so sad I missed that when we visited. We went and saw (and posed) at anything Doctor Who or Torchwood related. It would be great to see that for real.

  4. says

    OMG, I remember posting that comment and this is the odd thing, I didn't really know you then (in a virual sense). When I clicked on this link, I didn't expect to see that photo and thought "OMG it was your photo"

    Glad I could see the point of the photo and I think it's a great expression of art – to have the viewer appreciate something very different.

    A lot of ground covered since then.

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