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Tide turned on public art?

By johnboy - 3 September 2010 22


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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22 Responses to
Tide turned on public art?
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.

Rollersk8r 10:29 am 03 Sep 10

Arts funding is a deep and complicated topic and I think it’s ignorant to say it’s all a waste of money. Mind you, it’s very hard to get excited about public art with the “rocks on platforms” and the “twisted metal” examples along the GDE…

troll-sniffer 10:07 am 03 Sep 10

I was going to vote but a suitable choice isn’t available.

If there was a choice for “Art is always going to be in the eye of the beholder” I would have clicked that. Trying to put your own stamp of approval on art is like trying to make your choice of music the standard for the community.

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