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Old fashioned ‘photoshop challenge’: the hermetic globe lands in Ryde!

Matthew Chatfield
Latest posts by Matthew Chatfield (see all)

Readers will no doubt be familiar with the popular and usually smutty internet pastime of ‘photoshop challenge‘, but may not realise that this sort of visual trickery is not restricted to the digital world. In Union Street, Ryde, the Ranger has recently spotted a remarkable example of this, in the form of an extraordinary hermetic globe outside the newly refurbished premises of Messrs Greaves & Thomas, Globemakers. This striking object has been placed in the street to mark their workshops at Bravinger’s Arcade. If you’re wondering why the Ranger is going on about globes, rest assured there’s a nature connection coming along.

Bravinger's Arcade, Union Street, Ryde
Bravinger’s Arcade, Ryde

It looks pretty intriguing on first sight, but the really cunning twist is that this globe is not, as it appears to be, a reflective ball. It is a series of photographs of the streetscape distorted appropriately and fixed to a globe – a hermetic globe.

Hermetic globe

Look more closely – who is that, waving to us from the base of the sphere?

Sir Patrick Moore
Sir Patrick Moore

It’s popular astronomer and accomplished xylophone player Sir Patrick Moore! Sadly, Sir Patrick is too elderly to get out much these days, so it seems likely that this image, too, was subject to a certain amount of manipulation. If you are wondering about the nature connection, well, you’ve already seen it. Perhaps the globe stunned you so much you didn’t notice it. Look again at the first picture above and you will see a huge, golden grasshopper, complete and very realistically crafted. It even has little spines on its legs. If that had appeared overnight by itself, there would have been a sensation. As it is, the globe and the image of Sir Patrick have drawn people’s attention. So, to redress the balance, the Ranger finishes here with a picture of that splendid grasshopper.

A great golden grasshopper
A great golden grasshopper

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

One thought on “Old fashioned ‘photoshop challenge’: the hermetic globe lands in Ryde!

  • James Bissell-Thomas

    Thank you for mentioning our Hermetic Globe, we are pleased that the idea is at last being recognised, we approached Charles Satchi 3 years ago hoping he would commission one, he never replied, visitors to the street are often found photographing it, and local shop keepers refer it as being the ‘Wonder of Ryde’ , we have 4 other locations on the Isle of Wight which are :Appley Tower, High St Ryde (opp Nat West), Newport Roundabout and Lastly veranda area of the Medina Arts Center… I hope the Council might see the interest that the present Ryde one has caused and consider comissioning some of the above, they can be made very cheaply and they would make good landmarks, and they after all are recording the surroundings when the photographs were taken, so future viewiers can spot the difference as time moves on.

    Lastly why the Grasshopper on top of the building? If you look at my website and hunt out Holbeins Globe and then look for the hidden meaning you will find a text about a Grasshopper saving the day…. best wishes JAmes Bissell-Thomas


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