The Big V
As a lover of art and would-be artist I’m all in favour of public art. Go to Southwold for instance and there is a delightful humorous piece of public art ‘The Water Clock’ by Tim Hunkin on the pier.
In the magnificent re-furbished St Pancras Station there is a charming sculpture of Victorian architecture and train loving Poet Laureate John Betjeman.
All works of art that, for me, add to the beauty of the environment.
So our two, Andrew Carruthers and Morgan Howell, despite, as far as I can tell, having no experience whatsoever of creating public art, came up with this idea of a sculpture to go into Verulamium Park. And whaddya know, the name of the park begins with 'V', so why not have a sculpture that is the shape of a 'V' and called 'The Big V'? What a novel idea. We could have them up and down the country 'The Big H' in the grounds of nearby Hatfield House, 'The Big L' enhancing the Capability Brown landscape of Luton Hoo. I can see why Goodwin Steel Castings are championing the project.
One of my many faults is that I can be too earnest. I take things too seriously. So after seeing photographs of the artist's impression in the local papers I dashed off po-faced letters to the press, stating my objections. You know the kind of thing, you don't start with the sculpture, you start with the brief, you invite artists of proven excellence to submit proposals, you involve the local community, yah de yah de yah etc.
And now I'm feeling rather foolish. I get it now. It's a huge joke isn't it guys? I mean who could possibly think that two men, who have no track record of producing public art, would be allowed to inflict a huge, steel V-sign in the middle of our beautiful park, on future generations of St Albans' residents?
I now realise that you have a worthy underlying motive of wanting the public to discuss the provision of really good public art in our city. Well good on you, it's a brilliant way of provoking a debate on the subject – but if you're really serious about it you need an area for public comment on your website.
In the meantime any Snorbens residents (or anyone else who has a view) please feel free to give your opinions here, or to St Albans Council or to the contact e-mail address St Michael‘s village website here.
* Thanks to I Like for the use of the photo which I found on Flickr here.