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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, January 14, 2004
    Wave goodbye
    They had to shut Speke Boulevard in last night's rush hour because The Mersey Wave got damaged in the wind. Ironic that the first sculpture in the UK designed to be viewed from moving vehicles should bring the city's major southern arterial road to gridlock overnight. Ironic that this wave-form appears to have been designed without taking wind into account.

    The developers' proud boasts ("thirty feet higher than The Angel of the North") seem shallow now. They were always shallow. The structure shakes when storms start blowing: compared to Gormley's Angel (solid in conception and construction, an iconic achievement) Peter Fink's Wave is insubstantial. Good art ain't for speeding past; motor vehices disconnect their passengers and obscure the world outside.

    This "oceanic landmark" is neither one thing nor the other. The 'culture' it pays homage to is brutal, shallow, banal, depressing traffic culture. Garish and gale-ripped, ill-conceived, The Mersey Wave has not stood inspection.