Guest Post – Hope They Sweep It For Polar Bears First…
Today’s Guest Post is from @AmbushPredator
Artist Alex Hartley and 18 volunteers excavated about six tonnes of material from an island exposed by a retreating glacier on the Svalbard peninsula in Norway.
The material will be sculpted into a piece of art called Nowhere Island and floated along the South West coast for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
It is one of 12 arts projects funded by the Arts Council to represent each of the UK regions as part of the Cultural Olympiad to run alongside the sporting events in 2012.
In other words, we’re paying. All £500,000 of it.
The Arts Council said the “remarkable visual sculpture” would open up a debate on global warming.
Well, of course!
We’ll overlook the carbon footprint that’ll be racked up by sending this pretentious little scallywag and his 18 friends to Svalbard to do this. Because, let’s face it, they didn’t swim or walk there, did they?
I’m guessing that’s not going to be raised at all in this ‘debate’ they want to have…
Geoffrey Cox, Conservative MP for Torridge and West Devon, called it an “extraordinary folly”.
Mr Cox said: “I think my constituents are going to find it quite astonishing that, at a time when thousands of people are losing their jobs and when the country is on the brink of bankruptcy, we are spending half a million pounds digging up earth from somewhere in Norway and floating it down the South West coast.
“I am not against spending money on the arts, but it would be much better spent on grass-roots community arts centres rather than this extraordinary folly.”
Frankly, Geoffrey, I’d rather even that didn’t get its hands on public money.
If art is good, it’ll sell. The government-funded stuff never does. That’s why it has to be government funded.
Phil Gibby, head of Arts Council England in the South West, said: “It is absolutely vital to invest in vibrant arts projects in Devon, but we could not have spent this money on them.
“It is a remarkable visual sculpture and we reckon more than a quarter of a million people will engage with it.
“So for everyone getting engaged with it, it is about £2 or less.”
I’d like to ‘engage with it’. Anyone have a submarine they could lend me