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.Thank god. It's hideous.
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.
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.“Councillors and council leaders not wanting to take responsibility? Perish the thought!
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.
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.And we all remember how you raised holy hell then and refused to let the matter lie.
“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.”
Me neither...They can put it next to the non-working Millenium Clock...
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.