Updated post Monday, 2 Feb 2015 at 4:07 p.m.
### ODT Online Mon, 15 Jul 2013
Editorial: How the worm turns
It seems there is nothing quite like the issue of public art to stimulate debate. Whether it be form, function, meaning, materials, longevity, cost, location, the work’s title, or the artist’s “qualifications”, the works inevitably prompt a great outpouring of comments from the public. When it comes to publicly-funded art in the outdoor public arena, it is understandable some ratepayers want to have their say. After all, they have to see it and they have to pay for it. One of the most-debated issues is often the cost, with many projects being deemed expensive.
In a city rich with educational institutions, heritage, and a strong artistic legacy, such projects have been deemed worthy of funding by the council for many years, and frequently indicated as important by the public in the likes of residents opinion surveys. There is no doubt striking the right balance is no easy task, particularly given art, by its very nature, is subjective, and cannot necessarily “please” everyone.
Given that the response to art works is the huge unknown – it is all the more important the areas that can be calculated are done so – and done so clearly: the artist, the artist’s brief, the art work’s purpose, visual expectations including height and size, suitability for its location, and of course, cost. And, sadly, it is in these fundamental areas in which the latest controversial public art proposal appears to have fallen down.
Related ODT stories:
8.7.13 [Opinion] Art Beat: More than just a muddle
3.7.13 Council rejects artwork criticism
2.7.13 Sculptors question selection process
1.7.13 Botanic Garden to get huge worm
30.6.13 Botanic Garden marks 150th
30.6.13 [Magazine] Putting down some roots
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Images via ODT [screenshots]