Sculpture 'a tawdry offering'

PUBLISHED: 09:52 06 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:08 10 June 2010

Full marks to the Budleigh edition of the Journal for bringing the debate regarding the proposed seafront sculpture into the public domain. I understand only a handful of members of the public were present at artist Ms Lee s pitch to the town council.

Full marks to the Budleigh edition of the Journal for bringing the debate regarding the proposed seafront 'sculpture' into the public domain. I understand only a handful of members of the public were present at artist Ms Lee's pitch to the town council. I read that those who have recently expressed some concern in respect of her proposal, via your newspaper, have been termed "ill-informed" by her supporters. Well yes, isn't that exactly the point? Had the Journal not raised the profile of this story, I wonder how long we would have been kept in the dark? It beggars belief that we, the residents of Budleigh, should have received so little consideration by the body called the East Devon Pebble Project (does anybody know who these people are?) when commissioning this significant public artwork for our seafront. Are we supposed to be grateful?It would have been much more respectful to actually ask locals for their views before presenting them with what appears to be a done deal. We are now told there are three locations under consideration. But wait a minute, isn't this all a little presumptuous to say the least? It is no wonder some people are up in arms. I, for one, cannot wait to see a planning application, before getting too carried away with the prospect of a nice unveiling ceremony.On the question of artistic merit, everyone is entitled to their opinion. My own view is that the seafront at Budleigh has a very organic and harmonious quality and I feel the suggested design would be totally unsympathetic in both its use of material and ugly geometric angular design (yes, I agree, it does look like one of those dreadful sports trophies). In a different context - Dawlish Warren perhaps - it might be perfectly acceptable, but I can only view it as incongruous in the context of our seafront. I am not one of those who is always resistant to change and this is certainly not a case of 'The Shock of The New', rather a case of being unimpressed by the mundane. It seems the arty elite are trying to show us how clever they are and expecting us to be overcome with gratitude. Well, I am sorry to be a touch critical, but the way they have gone about this is not very clever at all - and what's on offer is, quite simply, not very good artistically. We and our town should demand better than this tawdry offering.To suggest that people might come flocking to Budleigh to see the sculpture is, frankly, ridiculous and shows limited comprehension as to what is really special about our town. A previous contributor talked about the need to 'get it right' when considering artworks in public locations. I would be hard pressed to find a better example of getting it totally wrong! Ms Lee, take note, this is not a good start and I dread to think how it will all end.Roberto Feloni BA (NWRD),(via email).


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