Wanaka – Puzzling World 2

Puzzling World 1 explored all the slightly older stuff at Puzzling World; but popularity has prompted it to expand. They’ve recently opened a huge new ‘Sculptillusion’ gallery with a lot more optical tricks on show. Some of these can be found in other museums and galleries, but that’s not a problem – it just goes to show this is an international arena of interesting ideas. I might even build some of these in my spare bedroom…

The first piece doesn’t work well as a still photograph, but the idea focuses on the big wheel here: it’s made up of two wheels of spokes, which turn in opposite directions. This makes it look as if all the inner gaps between the spokes are all moving into the centre. What makes this one slightly unusual is that because of the way the spokes have 90 degree bends, all the outward parts look as if they’re all moving outward.

The second idea takes us back to the Tumbling Blocks idea in Amish Quilts. Do these cubes point inwards or outwards? What are the smaller 3×3 cubes doing? And does the presence of the vegetation give us any help in deciding?

Two cones appear to be rotating along each other’s rims. In fact nothing much is moving; the two cones are joined through a vertical spine, and the whole thing rotates about that spine. But it looks as if the two cones are carefully dancing with each other.

A weird arrangement of metal frames…

…becomes a crate if you line the corners up correctly.

The spiral spins round, appearing to screw down and down… yet the ball stays held up. Held up by what?

The answer is nothing goes up or down at all. The ball is anchored to the spiral, but the eye and brain think it’s just floating there.

Stone and metal, shaped to suggest people climbing on a hut. Inside there’s a painting of them… both representations are equally ‘false’, yet we understand clearly what’s going on.

Pillars? Or old gentlemen?

A fibreglass model of Stu Landsborough, founder of it all, looking a bit weary. He looks somehow exactly as I’d pictured him… though he also looks exactly like the murdering taxi-driver in the Sherlock Holmes mystery A Study in Pink with Benedict Cumberbatch

An infinite telephone box… stand inside and it’s an infinite mirror room.

A large tap running water but no connection for the water to get in!

Two children sit on a bench… which has no supporting legs of its own!

Is this a hollow arrangement or a black cube hanging in the air?

And again, a coloured cube, or a hollow arrangement?

Though is looks bent, the metal bar is actually straight: the screw thread on the nuts is just painted on.

A ‘Rubins Vase’

Just a boulder carved into two chain links; but the length of the chain is now longer than the original boulder was.

Not an illusin, but someone’s impression of what London would look like…

…if South Pacific nature took over.

And lastly, an odd arrangement with compasses and a square. Perhaps it raises some interesting questions…

I haven’t even mentioned the maze… and in truth I’ve never done it. I think I’ve twice paid for it with my ticket, but at the end of the day the prospect of an hour in there, particularly if it’s raining, just doesn’t appeal! But it looks a decent challenge, and with its path across the top it claims to be the first 3-dimensional maze in the world. Perhaps I’ll just have to go back again…