Thursday, 3 March 2011

Fancy Some Easy Money..?

Then sell a sculpture to your local council.

What’s that? No good at sculpture? What does that matter?
A controversial and much-derided £390,000 sculpture on Southend seafront is to be removed after just five years.

The clear plastic Life Lines piece, at the top of Pier Hill, outside Debenhams, is being moved to a more suitable location at a cost of £20,00 because of repeated vandalism.
Thank god. It's hideous.
The piece, designed by award-winning artist Vong Phaophanit, was bought in 2006 with money from the Arts Council as part of the £6million regeneration of the Pier Hill area.

Patterns and colours inside the plastic were meant to constantly change as the piece’s electronic brain responded to the environment around it.
Even before it was officially opened, the work was vandalised leaving residents and traders to complain it had never worked properly.
I’m getting this vague sense of déjà vu with regard to useless artworks, incompetent councils, and Southend
Graham Longley, leader of the Lib Dem group on the borough council said: “We asked questions about this early on. We asked whether it was appropriate for the setting and the intention behind it. We will not be disappointed to see it go.“

Even senior Tories who were running the council at the time it was put up struggle to find a good word for Life Lines, or take responsibility for giving it the go-ahead.
Councillors and council leaders not wanting to take responsibility? Perish the thought!
Anna Waite (Gah!!!), now Tory councillor responsible for housing and social care and a leading member of the council at the time it was commissioned, said: “Personally, I’m not too keen on these modern pieces of art, but I know modern art is popular with some residents.

At the time, I did think it wasn’t quite what we’d been sold. It was not as good as we hoped it would be. I’ve never actually seen it working properly – even on the day it went up.”
And we all remember how you raised holy hell then and refused to let the matter lie.


Me neither...
Derek Jarvis, Tory councillor responsible for culture, said there was a small chance the council might get more Arts Council money to move the sculpture to a more suitable site.
They can put it next to the non-working Millenium Clock...


PJH said...

"at a cost of £20,00[sic]"

That's rather cheap. Or is that rather expensive in Southend? ;)

Woman on a Raft said...

Idea! The Three Counties Crematorium are advertising for a assistant to sell memorials at the combined crem.

Memorial sculptures come to suit all tastes from the deeply restrained and dignifed to the flamboyant.

A sculpture called 'lifelines' with coloured lights is just the thing for there; put it near a shallow ornamental water and have a few evergreen bushes nearby and it might be pleasant and comforting to look at. Maybe it's programmable and can respond to the deceased's name for a fee? Your loved one's name in lights, sort of thing.

You don't get many vandals at a crematorium, so it should survive for a while.

Though I can't see how it can cost more than £200, including the van, to shift it to Braintree and plug it in there.

Macheath said...

Douglas Adams, thou shouldst be living in this hour...

JuliaM said...

"That's rather cheap. Or is that rather expensive in Southend? ;)"

Ahh, that's the 'Echo' and its frequent typos...

"Idea! The Three Counties Crematorium are advertising for a assistant to sell memorials at the combined crem."

Brilliant idea!

"Douglas Adams, thou shouldst be living in this hour..."

Still sadly missed...