After 48 years of loyal service, Alan ‘Beady’ Bladon has decided to retire from his position at Harold’s museum. Since joining the organisation in 1965, Alan has been the eyes in a painting that follow you around the room.
“Harold museum was struggling n the ’60s when I joined, so we had to look at different ways of bringing in visitors” Mr Bladon told us. “We quickly realised that all the best museums have a painting where the eyes follow you wherever you go.
“After having our £5.30 bid for the Mona Lisa turned down, we were left with no such portrait so opted to cut holes in an existing piece and have me look through it with my eyes following people.”
Visitors to the museum have described the painting as odd, creepy and even perverse. Since taking up his position in the piece, people have claimed the eyes have followed them around, have started winking at them, and in 1983 an outbreak of conjunctivitis was even blamed on Mr Bladon’s then pink eyes.
Describing her experience, regular chin-stroking art enthusiast and owner of ‘Sally’z Cutz’, Sally Lloyd said “I always got the strange feeling I was being watched when I was in the same room as the painting.
“However, it got weirder the closer I got. Every time I leant in to see the finer details of a picture, the eyes’ gaze seemed to move from my eyes to staring down my top.”
The museum has told us they are now looking for a replacement set of staring eyes, but admit despite having hundreds of applications, the position is proving hard to fill. “All of the applicants so far have the skills needed to look at people all day, but our insistence on a criminal records check has set us back.”