What’s That Thing? “a clumsy, aggressive, cheap-looking new sculpture overlooking Belfast”

As the BBC reports, Belfast has won another award!  In association with the Architecture Foundation, the Spectator magazine has bestowed its What’s That Thing? award for bad public art on Origin – part of the Farset Project, one of “seven big, bold and ambitious cultural projects” that Belfast City Council have developed alongside the Arts Council of Northern Ireland with an overall cost of £900,000. An 11-metre high public art piece located at Squire’s Hill at the entrance to Cavehill Country Park, with £100,000 … Read more

“This issue regarding Mute Meadow resides with Ilex.”

Apparently, there’s a problem with the £800,000 public artwork, “Mute Meadow“, in Londonderry.  Although it’s not entirely clear what the “issue” actually is.  It was supposed to have been ‘switched on’ on 25 June 2011. The permanent public installation, designed by Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier, was announced as the winner of the Foyle Public Arts Project in 2009. From the BBC report Vong Phaophanit, Turner prize nominee and his co-creator, Claire Oboussier, have commented on the issue. “‘The protracted process in … Read more

“This has been custom and practice, I have just put it in writing.”

Apparently, 161 publicly-funded press officers are not sufficient to keep Northern Ireland’s troublesome press pack in check…  The Belfast Telegraph has gotten hold of a “confidential memo” [not yet online] from the NI Minister of Culture, Sinn Féin’s Carál Ní Chuilín, to the various arms-length bodies (ALBs) within the department’s remit setting out “a proposed media communications protocol”.  From the BBC report DCAL said the objective was to promote best practice in communication and to ensure that the media and the public were … Read more

A “stupenduous act of cultural vandalism”

And in the first UK City of Culture too…  The Derry Journal reports the reaction of Australian artist, Joan Walsh-Smith, on learning that her 30 metre long public artwork, City People, commissioned in 1973 by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for the Foyle Street Urban Park in Londonderry, was bulldozed in the mid-1990s to make way for a carpark.  From the Derry Journal report Mrs. Walsh-Smith recently queried the whereabouts of the Arts Council commissioned project after trying to locate it on Google street … Read more

“This further signifies the positive effect the City of Culture title is generating in the region…”

Whilst Comhaltas dither, and differ, over whether to hold their All-Ireland Fleadh in Londonderry during the UK City of Culture year in 2013, the UK’s Big Lottery Fund Chair, Peter Ainsworth, was in the city today to announce a £1million small grants programme to “support communities across Northern Ireland that want to play a part in the City of Culture celebrations in 2013.” From the UK’s Big Lottery Fund press release Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013, said: “We … Read more