It’s the ‘Spirit of Belfast’!

As I said at the time, “You’ve only yourselves to blame..” A new public art sculpture, “Spirit of Belfast”, cost £180,000, was unveiled yesterday in Cornmarket, Arthur’s Square. BBC Newsline report here. From the official statement

The New York artist Dan George said: “The ‘Spirit of Belfast’ is the manifestation of our energy as we look to the future as well as a meditation on our past. It is a timepiece that weaves together the strength of steel and the delicacy of light, ocean liners and linen, progress and peace.”

Hmm.. possibly.. Adds A photo of the unveiling.
And here’s what it should look like.

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  • I like it.

    I also like the fact it might be a health hazard for kids and wandering old folk alike.

    though i do want to take a swab of brasso to it.

  • Curly Baker

    I like it too. And I have a girlfriend.

  • Guest

    Looks like what happened the last time I tried to build the kids duo-super-super-plex scalextric together with the other ones’ electric train.I was wandering and old and even folk in the end;

  • dunreavynomore

    “Hmm.. possibly..”
    Thems my sentiments!

  • dunreavynomore

    Just looked at it again and it could be saying, ‘We are really a bunch of twisted, cantankerous, thick skinned, short sighted latcheekoes peering through rose tinted specs who’ll buy anything a smart talking yank wants to sell us.’

  • Pigeon Toes

    “The New York artist Dan George..our energy”

    If you say so…

  • Guest

    He does pig,hes does……
    spaghetti anyone?

  • Peat Bacher

    I like it. I’m not a virgin.

  • Guest

    The guy in the unveiling looks like he might be trying to do some warp speed speech.

  • I like it. Some people will moan about public art no matter what it looks like.

  • Guest

    and some people will moan about private art no matter what it doesns’t look like and no matter whether we know.

  • Eleanor Bull

    “the manifestation of our energy as we look to the future as well as a meditation on our past. It is a timepiece that weaves together the strength of steel and the delicacy of light, ocean liners and linen, progress and peace.”

    In other words, the usual old art bollocks shite whereby someone strings together a series of meaningless words to make a bit of welding sound “deep” or “intellectual”, then trousers a wedge.

    I think the fountain that used to be there, covered in floating lager cans and takeaway polystyrene, probably said more about “Belfast’s energy” than this. Although, that said, if you counted up the cost of the lager cans and saturated fat purchases, it probably cost £18k, too.

  • Rory Carr

    There is something about the desperate “worthiness” of pieces like this which are inevitably funded from the public purse that elicits comments which are in direct negation of the feel-good factor intended by those who devised the project.

    Good bloody job too! I don’t need any quango dictating to me what ought to be considered either aesthetically pleasing or “worthy”.

    Anyway, out in rural Hertfordshire there has recently been a spate of thefts of bronze sculptures by eminent artists, including Henry Moore, from the gardens of homes which has been attributed to (not so) light-fingered travellers (or ‘Pikeys’ as the locals have it) having them away and melting them down for scrap. In some instances pieces valued in excess of £1million are believed to have been melted down to a scrap value of a few thousands or less. But I wouldn’t want to be giving anybody any ideas now, would I?

  • igor

    For £180k the Council could have run a Sponsor A Wino competition for say 10 years.

    What happened to them since the bandstand vanished? Have they been eliminated in some sinister way with consequent damage to the profits of the good Friars of Buckfast?

  • Hogan

    I walked passed it last night for the first time.

    It doesn’t do much for me but i enjoy being in a city that invests in its public landscape.

    I just wish we could put a sculpture up without having to listen to the infernal drivel of the bullshitter that charged us too much to put it there in the first place?

  • I like it, for the sole reason that Belfast as a city is sorely lacking in statues, sculptures and public art.

    Statues are excusable because of our history, but public art is meant to get us thinking, looking at things and wondering what they mean. And if BCC are spending so much money doing up the streetscape then 180k isn’t much to pay for something like this. In my opinion. So there.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “but public art is meant to get us thinking, looking at things and wondering what they mean”

    And we would eventually come to the conclusion,
    “The ‘Spirit of Belfast’ is the manifestation of our energy as we look to the future as well as a meditation on our past. It is a timepiece that weaves together the strength of steel and the delicacy of light”?

    Such a pity we already know …

  • well he had to write SOMETHING in the description.

  • wino watch

    “What happened to them since the bandstand vanished?”

    They’re all round at North Street waiting for Margaret’s next project to get going.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “What happened to them since the bandstand vanished?”

    They’re all round at North Street waiting for Margaret’s next project to get going.”

    By the look of it, one of them is £180k better off.

  • “a spate of thefts of bronze sculptures by eminent artists”

    Rory, do they steal their own work or that of other artists? 😉

  • jester

    I think that hearing the claim of the artist, Dan George, that ‘I understand the people of Belfast town’ was a bit of a giveaway about what to expect. It doesn’t fit with the historical buildings, it oesn’t fit with the dynamics of Belfast’s busiest public space and it doesn’t look any good in daylight. The artists impression of it at night was a lie which persuaded idiots to vote for it. It goes to show that the Department for Social Development has no business interfering with public art. They’re pretty hopeless with public realm too.

  • Belfast Bling

    I don’t mind it, even though I’m a virgin because I don’t have a girlfriend or a boyfriend.

    What nickname shall we give it?

  • Pigeon Toes

    I hope the are using eco/green/sustainable/organic/geothermic/wind turbine/ tidal power lighting.

    pray tell why is the remit of DSD not DCAL?

  • wino watch

    Tis social regeneration Pigeon Toes. By the way your nom de blog is apt for a conversation about our shitty centre architecture you guano pumping shy-rat.

    This Dab George is also at one with the people of the banks of the Wicklow motorway network.

    http://www.dangeorge.net/

    Good.God.

  • wino watch

    Sky-rat.

    Itsh my lishp

  • Pigeon Toes

    Indeed how will said “sculpture” look when it is covered in pigeon shit?

    http://www.dangeorge.net/?q=journal

    “No Titanic sailing out of Belfast today. Spirit of Belfast is firmly anchored in Arthur Square, even after a stellar launch by NI Cabinet Ministers and the Lord Mayor and several British MP and NI Ministers along with the press. It could not have been better…I’m beginning to speak British”

    Oh dear.

  • Rory Carr

    I seem to remember a character in Viz magazine whose adventures were driven by the fact of his “unbelievably large testicles”. Somehow I can’t quite shake the suspicion that Dan George was somehow influenced by this strip when forging this piece.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Rory

    Buster Gonad?

  • Pigeon Toes

    Yes it is bollocks.

  • Eleanor Bull

    “well he had to write SOMETHING in the description.”

    His description of it makes even less sense than Ulster-Scots, or a Sinner speaking gaelige in Stormont.

    Maybe we need tri-lingualism. Irish, Ullans and, in the case of artists describing their work, plain English.

  • Eleanor Bull

    “Buster Gonad? ”

    Yep. And his nadgers were UNFEASIBLY large. Not “unbelievably large”.

    “Buster Gonad is the name of a cartoon character in the British comic Viz. It involves the surreal adventures of “the boy with unfeasibly large testicles”. During a storm, Buster’s gonads were zapped by cosmic rays which enlarged them to an enormous size. Buster’s gonads are so large, in fact, that he needs a wheelbarrow to carry them around[1]. As a result, they are impossible to conceal and are therefore out on open display for everyone to see and marvel at.

    The plot-lines vary, but are always bizarre, revolving around Buster’s outstanding physical attributes being a blessing or a curse. For example, in one episode Buster climbs a tree whereupon some children standing below mistake his hairy scrotum for giant horse chestnuts, deciding to pelt it with sticks and stones in order to knock it down so they can play conkers. Moments later, a passing farmer attempts to help the children by blasting the “horse chestnuts” with his double-barrelled shotgun. Finally, an endangered species of bird decides to build a nest on Buster’s scrotum and lays eggs in it. It is illegal to disturb the rare bird’s nest, so poor Buster is forced to stay up the tree for the next few weeks until the eggs hatch and the fledglings have left the nest.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buster_Gonad

    All of which seems more rooted in reality than most artists we’ve heard from in the past week.

  • Rory Carr

    Yes, thank you all, “Buster Gonad indeed and I had just remembered that his testicles were indeed described as “unfeasibly large” much like the fee received for this tribute in steel to Buster’s physical accomplishments.