Colin Campbell's News View

Colin Campbell
Colin Campbell

Is is value to spend £700,000 on street art?

A PUBLIC art project on the banks of the Ness  has moved a step closer.

Members of the Highland Council’s City of Inverness area committee have been informed that eight artists are being invited to the the next stage of a process being carried out by the Council’s ICArts Working Group, with scrutiny by an evaluation panel made up of independent advisors and officers of the council and High Life Highland.

I suppose some artists have to try and earn a crust any way they can these days. But I’m not sure the most talented would wish to see their ideas go through a process of scrutiny by an evaluation panel of “independent advisors” and council officials. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I imagine the judgements of the “evaluation panel” could be equalled or even surpassed by WI groups or the darts or dominoes team in any Inverness pub.

Artwork options apparently under scrutiny are “The Gathering Place” a special structure where people can come together overlooking the River Ness; relaxation areas or “Rest Spaces” for small groups or individuals along the river banks; and an “an interactive Sculptural Destination” which is visible from a distance creating a focal point to encourage people to walk along the river.

More than £700,000 is being spent on these fanciful creations at a time of cuts, cuts and more cuts in services – we barely even have traffic wardens in Inverness anymore. Forget the basics - there's always money swirling around for "artwork".

Read more on other topics in Colin Campbell's News View each week - only in the Highland News

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