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Tide turned on public art?

By johnboy 3 September 2010 22

rhizome

The Canberra Times’ Diana Streak made it to the ANU School of Art yesterday to report on the Chiefly Stanhope’s musings on public art.

Miraculously, since the ACT Government stopped spending so much money on public art, Mr Stanhope has noted less heat in the community on the subject. What could possibly have brought that about one wonders facetiously.

He’s also cunningly linking having a centenary artwork to the general “Percent For Art Scheme”.

(If he doesn’t get what he wants we don’t get what we want.)

Public art funding

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Tide turned on public art?
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Hells_Bells74 11:09 am 04 Sep 10

I thought the same, trevar. I argued with myself whether it was that or not, I don’t recall all those round silver bits. Great pic anyhow.

Yes, yes, yes I like your other hand!

trevar 10:25 am 04 Sep 10

johnboy said :

Thoroughly Smashed said :

I quite like that photo.

Thanks! I’m rather proud of it.

It is the GDE pile, isn’t it? If so, I think that’s the first time I’ve seen some value in it…

Personally, I think it would be a terrible shame not to have a very substantial work of art to mark the centenary, and I am also perfectly comfortable with spending $1M on it (perhaps we could sacrifice a politician for it?).

On the other hand, shouldn’t the Commonwealth be giving us a gift for our birthday? They give us enough crap the rest of the time. Personally I think Sydney and Melbourne, as our parents, ought to be making a very substantial contribution!

Gerry-Built 9:00 am 04 Sep 10

worst spending on Public Art? That’s gotta be the $100,000+ “glass sculpture” in the entry of the AMC (gaol). A lot of money to spend on a Public Art Work that most of the public will never even see. Give me the “Optimus Prime Pubes” (pictured in OP) anytime… Kinda ironic an workplace accident not 50m from that sculpture has resulted in a similar pile of metal…

Also, I really like those welded-chain sheep in Civic and Kambah Village Shops…

WonderfulWorld 8:42 pm 03 Sep 10

Pommy bastard said :

johnboy said :

Thoroughly Smashed said :

I quite like that photo.

Thanks! I’m rather proud of it.

Didn’t realise it was one of yours, respect Johnboy!

Almost makes “The Fallen Pylon” look like a work of art. 😉

It is a great photo JB.

I love the public art when I drive around our beautiful city. It’s unique.
If the ACT can afford it, in addition to the needs of the community in health and well being, then I think it is great as it makes me smile and helps my well being.

sepi 7:08 pm 03 Sep 10

i like driving past the windmill / bird – do we need to get up close to that one?

if we waited til the rest of the city was perfect before getting art we would never get the art.

the cube is really sad in its current spot. stuck between the ramps of the carparks it can hardly be seen and the lights are lost amongst all the other neon lighting. garema place would be better, and make it sound respnsive again.

Primal 6:36 pm 03 Sep 10

The problem with a lot of Canberra’s public art is that it’s in a terrible bloody location where no one can reasonably wander over to it and have a good stare while contemplating its deeper truths. 95% of the viewing is done at 80km/h!

What sort of person is going to wander up away from Woden and across the Yarra Glen roundabout just to stare at the windmill-thing? How desperate would you need to be to see art to go and see the girders or the rock’n’pallets on the GDE? At least they got it right when they put the yellow reeds in an accessible location on Emu Bank (and the sheep, of course).

A little common sense would go a long way towards making our public art a lot less hated.

p1 4:41 pm 03 Sep 10

Hells_Bells74 said :

…do we still have the cube in action?

The cube still exists, but it has moved and no longer responds to the voices of drunk students with multicoloured flashing lights (it still has lights, just not sensitive to sound.

I don’t mind the twisted Girders so much. If a piece of artwork “polarises” the public then I am not too displeased, at least it is getting people talking, and some people have to like it enough to bother arguing with the people who don’t.

My problem with public art usually occur when I don’t like something, and can’t find anyone who does. Then I start to wonder who picked it.

‘Pair shaped rocks on coloured wood’ gets my vote for most meh public art in Canberra.

bazinga 4:29 pm 03 Sep 10

I’m not against public art, it does have a place. However it should be a thing that is focused on once other more worthy projects have been completed. There are many areas of need around Canberra. Cost/lack of housing, homeless people on the streets, decrepit public schools, rubbish, glass on bike paths etc.

Fix the important stuff first, then go for your life on public art.

Hells_Bells74 3:52 pm 03 Sep 10

Well it certainly got noticed and talked about, I suppose that’s art doing its job!

But.. I really liked Jon Stanhope when he was elected (smart, good looking, relaxed, friendly, confident, what happened?) and it wasn’t until these wanky arts and other things started appearing without so much as a reasonable word to the public again about seemingly anything and now these years I can’t think of anything good to say about his leadership or expensive arts/tree prison.

I always voted Labor in the local election but will I be able to bring myself to it this time? I just want someone I can feel positive about and that doesn’t seem to be going against me or the public needlessly.

I really like the sheep statues and the rest of the colourful bits and pieces on the GDE are nice enough and in general I was never unhappy with Canberra’s efforts before, I wish there were more fountains/statues with lights at night, a little more nightlife in the City again (do we still have the cube in action?).

Sorry for the rave!

Pommy bastard 3:45 pm 03 Sep 10

johnboy said :

Thoroughly Smashed said :

I quite like that photo.

Thanks! I’m rather proud of it.

Didn’t realise it was one of yours, respect Johnboy!

Almost makes “The Fallen Pylon” look like a work of art. 😉

justin heywood 2:54 pm 03 Sep 10

I like the idea that Canberra has a Public Art Policy, and I particularly like the quirky and whimsical pieces. However the choice of artwork is an issue. The almost universal reaction to SOME of our ‘art’ such as Rhizome is a mixture of hilarity and incredulity, which lowers the artistic credibility of the other works.

Public art doesn’t HAVE to polarise the community (although in the case of the twisted girders [Rhizome], ‘polarise’ is probably being kind to the actual reaction).

Given that the public are paying for it and it is (presumably) the public that is supposed to enjoy it, why shouldn’t work be chosen that is ‘accessible’ to at least a reasonable proportion of the public?

dtc 2:16 pm 03 Sep 10

My general impression is that people like ‘representational’ art ie it looks like something (the zebras, the sheep – someone posted a great pic of a huge bear in ?Canada? a few weeks ago). Even that huge parcel near the Wig&Pen gets a smile.

However, most public art seems to be abstract. So immediately people dont connect to it. There is no interest to it.

I am not sure if abstract art is chosen because (a) its the hardest to break or (b) its chosen by the art w$$@kers who think representational art is just, like, sooo old fashioned and out of date.

Now far be it for me to say that public opinion is always right, people like a lot of crap. But when its public art, maybe some surveys or something before you buy it?

johnboy 12:07 pm 03 Sep 10

I was just admiring that bit of logic in the poll software.

A few more votes and ties will become less likely, fixing the problem.

astrojax 12:05 pm 03 Sep 10

i like how 27 votes for quality control is 40% and 27 votes for waste of money is 39%.

quality control in action, eh…

there is actually a lot of erudition goes into determining what is appropriate public art so it is always amusing to watch the scratchings of the great unwashed raging about ‘twisted meta’ or its ilk… 🙂

JessP 11:59 am 03 Sep 10

I can sort of understand the stuff in the city…..the sheep etc in Garema Place. Make it a vibrant, modern, artistic place for the shoppers/visitors

But the twisted metal, piles of rock and the wind mill-y thing in Woden? God no.

johnboy 11:57 am 03 Sep 10

Thoroughly Smashed said :

I quite like that photo.

Thanks! I’m rather proud of it.

farnarkler 11:41 am 03 Sep 10

The best piece of art is the windmill type thing on Yarra Glen. At least it moves.

Thoroughly Smashed 11:38 am 03 Sep 10

I quite like that photo.

Pommy bastard 11:36 am 03 Sep 10

The thing is art “being in the eye of the beholder” is of little consequence, unless it is “public art”, which is bought “on our behalf”, usually with little or no consultation, out of our taxes. Then it becomes a fecking annoyance.

54-11 11:24 am 03 Sep 10

Most of this stuff is just the CM, artists and pretentious pubes having a good wank.

I understand that this is in the eye of the beholder, but it all looks like (very expensive)crap to me.

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