Tuesday 1 January 2013

Three sheets to the wind?

Q: What's brown and sticky?
A: A stick

Apologies for the Brockley-Central-esque intro, I won't be making a habit of it. I just happen to like that particular joke and it seemed appropriate in these circumstances.

My Christmas Day walk along the river took me past Aragon Gardens on the Pepys estate, one of the area's parks that was recently refurbished. As I walked by I noticed that the 'sculpture' (I use the term advisedly) had finally been installed on the raised area next to the grassy knoll.

Lewisham Council's website explains (in rather appalling grammar) the thinking behind the 'design' of this sculpture:

"..a new sculpture has been commissioned which will be visible – including at night – to highlight Deptford’s river frontage. The sculpture’s design has been inspired by The Golden Hind, the ship in which Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world before finally mooring at Deptford. It will be constructed from Gleam timber and galvanised steel, with durable canvas ‘sails’. Local residents helped select the sails’ colours."

(Apologies for the rather dark photos, you may remember that it rained most of the morning on Christmas Day and this was about the brightest the day got).

The sculpture looks pretty miserable and pointless if you ask me; any expectation that its visibility from the river will 'highlight Deptford's river frontage' is optimistic in the extreme. It's right next to the massive Aragon Tower, and if/when the redevelopment of Convoys Wharf goes ahead it will have tower blocks on all sides.

And 'inspired by the Golden Hind'?

Nope, can't see it myself, even in the bad light.

I really wish they'd spent the money on something a bit more useful or beautiful; what's more why did it take more than 18 months to install?


Drake said...

What an insult, the Golden Hinde itself was built in less time. For sculptor read charlatan, surely there were better Deptford artists who could have been commissioned for this ? Add to that the fact that the "artist" had so little confidence in their own abilities that they had to press-gang the locals to choose the colour of the pain about to be inflicted on them. To continue the faux-nautical theme,
"A shipwreck beyond salvage".

Ian on the Hill said...

Oh Christ, that's horrible!

Anonymous said...

I suppose one of the major problems with public art is that it has to have no scrap value - or someone will come along and yank it out of the ground.

I would also be interesting to know the procedure that the Council has to go through to commission public art as well - and whether they have some kind of expert on-hand to give advice - but judging by most things they do they just work as amateurs . . .

Unknown said...

Do not know how this particular art work got commissioned ... although I was involved in getting over £3m back to the Pepys estate, from the sale of Aragon Tower to the private sector (from 100% social housing).
Malcolm - Pepys Community Forum

lurca said...

And why was a local artist ,amomg whom I include myself,asked to do the 'piece'.As we have said before who is in charge? Why can't we just have the Golden Hind?

Gareth Gardner said...

My eyes! My eyes! What a truly miserable assault on my vision. Does it manage to provide any shelter? It looks like a total waste of time and money.