The public have spoken.. apparently..

Well the public had the choice of either the Dancing Tree, Phoenix Rising, or Spirit of Belfast.. and, according to the Social Development minister, the SDLP’s Margaret Ritchie, the voting was as follows – “The Spirit of Belfast design received 46.6% of the public vote while Dancing Tree received 28.8% and Phoenix Rising 24.6%.” So Spirit of Belfast it is for Arthur Square. You’ve only yourselves to blame.. Adds That’s 3000 members of the public have spoken.. apparently..

From the notes to the press statement

5. The ‘Spirit of Belfast’ artist, Dan George, is from New York and his public projects span 30 years. He has worked with a variety of public authorities in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and in Ireland on the M7 Kildare, the M25 Wexford and Tobin Street, Cork.

And the Spirit of Belfast once again

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  • That’s easily the dullest of the three entries. Mind you it will be compatible with the artistic sensibilities of those sitting in the upstairs of Starbucks.

  • cg

    I heard a half hearted campaign had been started for a statue of Henry Joy McCracken because he had been hanged nearby.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    SO in the choice between the broken barcode, the giant slug and the confused pretzel, it was the latter won.

  • Mary Ann

    I heard a half hearted campaign had been started for a statue of Henry Joy McCracken because he had been hanged nearby.

    Posted by cg on Nov 29, 2007 @ 12:48 PM

    Actually, something related to Henry Joy, wouldn’t be a bad idea. Not a dull traditional statue, but something innovative and not just calling the shite that passes for modern art, the “McCracken spirit”, etc, etc….

    But then, this is Belfast. Lets put something meaningless and neutral, that could be in any other European city, cause we don’t want any controversy. The “shared” future is not so bright, its sort of dull and grey!!

  • Yitsack Rabeen

    As an outsider looking in, thats looks fairly stupid. Would it be possible to have something that relates to that part of Ireland that you are all living in. Something that is Ulster-ish and not from outside of there.

  • Rebecca

    It looks like one of those machines that turns you upside down at a fairground. Not as bad as this though: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7059663.stm

  • interested

    Interesting how Margaret has plenty of cash to spend on things like sculptures or a few million to blow on a big wheel in front of the City Hall yet claims she hasn’t got 2d to build a few houses.

    Maybe she wants to start getting her priorities right.

    Either that or she just wants to ask for money instead of taking the tough decisions that a Minister is actually supposed to take. That wouldn’t give her the winging opportunities and photo opportunities which she so clearly craves though.

  • iluvni

    How wick. When are we going to get our Georgie Best statue?

  • [i]SO in the choice between the broken barcode, the giant slug and the confused pretzel, it was the latter won.

    Posted by Belfast Gonzo on Nov 29, 2007 @ 01:09 PM[/i]

    mmmmmmm pretzels

  • URQUHART

    Nice line Interested – pity it’s a pile of shite. A few million to blow on a big wheel in front of city hall? What are you on?

  • Hogan

    The wheel was erected without public money being spent. It is operated by a private company for profit. Now i know that is a difficult for some people in Northern Ireland to believe but children please try!

    Go to other modern European city and you can see similar examples.

    As for the artwork? I’m naturally a sceptic when it comes to things like that. Paying so-called artists extortionate amounts for nonsense in hospitals is immoral while we have waiting lists. There is plenty of research saying that pleasant art can help the healing process. In my ignorance of the subject i’ll accept that.

    However i believe hospital walls could be opened up to Primary School, Special needs, and community art-projects rather than giving the chairman of the local health trust the opportunity to think he has lived on the west bank in Paris for 30 minutes while he cuts the ribbon.

    On the subject of the street artwork in question, i believe it should have been a statue of one of Belfast’s favourite sons, but since we are not mature enough as a society to deal with that it was avoided.

    Lets be honest i’m sure Margaret Ritchie is not an officiando on the finer points of cubism, and i’m sure she could be as sceptical as the rest of us when it comes to modern art. But her civil servants will have advised her that a statue would’ve caused problems. She will therefore have believed rather than cause anymore consternation, to approve the matter and get on with running the aspects of her department that actually matter.

    In 10 years time, if i am showing a visitor round belfast and we see this new piece what will happen?

    Well what happens now when you see the chipped and rusted nonsense down by the art-college? What happens when you see the two guys on the poles down near mynt and the nambarrie building?

    You say to yourself “what were they thinking?”, because abstract art is like that, without the context coming immediately to mind it means nothing?

    Contrast this with say a statue of the legendary harp player with the chieftans Derek Bell, or Sir James Galway, we could then point out to the visitor Belfast’s rich heritage in music.

    That would be my preference but i don’t believe it is anything to lambast the minister over.

  • RepublicanStones

    i think they should get Banksy in and use the back of city hall to let him paint a portrait of the chuckle brothers, sure they could help with his ladders, all together now, “to me, to you…”

  • Bring back the bandstand …

  • facts

    The wheel was erected without public money being spent

    Posted by Hogan on Nov 30, 2007 @ 12:40 PM

    Oh dear!
    I think you need to look at the facts. The big wheel got money from DSD and Belfast City Council.
    But don’t let that get in the way of a good rant!

  • joeCanuck

    Interested, public art is a part of the “whole” society to which we belong and to say that the money could have been better spent elsewhere is spurious. Would you prefer that we lived in a Stalinist city full of dreary ugly multirise concrete apartment blocks?
    Don’t be so churlish folks. At least the people were given a choice.

  • cut the bull

    joe

    Would you prefer that we lived in a Stalinist city full of dreary ugly multirise concrete apartment blocks?

    You obviously havent spent any time in the New Lodge where there are seven of these multirise concrete eye sores, or mountvernon which has two, or Rathcoole which has two and the Cregagh esate which another two.

    I believe Belfast has it’s fair share of these multirise concrete apartment blocks that unfortunately pass for social housing.

  • joeCanuck

    You’re right ctb, I haven’t been in those areas for over 30 years.
    If you want to start a campaign to tear them down, I’ll throw in a few quid.

  • Wilde Rover

    It’s fascinating to watch the cities of the world being filled up with these creations of “modern art.”

    But the most fascinating aspect of it all is not the dehumanizing, uninspiring, soulless “art” itself, but the beautifully crafted spiel that invariably surrounds it.

  • joeCanuck

    Wilde Rover,
    Don’t you think that, once the art/skill of perspective been perfected and then the invention of photography, artists had to expand their imaginations to “say” how they interpreted the world around them?
    I have to admit, though, that there is a lot of “modern” art that says nothing to me.

  • Wilde Rover

    joeCanuck

    For paintings, perhaps, but not for sculptures.