“Where public art really fails is not where there is negative publicity, but rather where there is indifference”
Well that is the thinking of Toby Dennet, Director of the Sculptor’s Society of Ireland and I have to say I agree with him.
As Community Arts Officer for the Council I think a lot about public art in relation to our public spaces – from pavements to parks (both those for people and those for cars), from playgrounds to swimming pools and from laneways to median strips. The Council has a firm commitment to enlivening the public realm by installing permanent and/or temporary artworks, and to encouraging the use of our public areas for creative and leisure activities, performances and events. The question is: Given the Council’s limited resources, what’s the most effective way to do this?
Our community appears to value having artworks in public spaces, and I’m curious to know whether, in terms of public art, the collective opinion is that less is more, or is it that more is better?
If you’re familiar with our laneways, side-streets and creeks, what or where do you see as the unsung treasures in our Council area? I’m sure there is more artwork, be it publically or privately owned, in our midst than appears on a first impression. Or maybe there’s simply a back alley, a tree in Linear Park or corner of a reserve that you find beautiful, that has special meaning to you. Where you would like to see public art and what themes or questions you would like it to explore? And finally, how do you want public art to relate to place? Does it need to or can we simply enjoy art for art’s sake?
Mary Giles Community Arts Officer Norwood Payneham & St Peters