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notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK
Friday, January 17, 2003Luna, nil - Laser, one Liverpool Housing Action Trust (HAT) are commissioning a major artwork for Sefton Park, and this week they have been displaying the five shortlisted proposals at The Palm House, inviting comments from the public which will help determine the outcome.
So, I spent lunchtime in that wonderful restored glass palace, chatting with the duty HAT man and other curious members of the public about the proposals on view. There are five:
Jim BuckleyÕs cluster of trees illuminated by fibre optics attached to the branches, which move and grow with the life of the tree;
Olaf NicolaiÕs brightly-painted but otherwise standard Adshel bus shelters - two, for each side of the lake (nowhere near any bus route);
Elisabeth BalletÕs ÔPalindrome along the park sideÕ, a series of four-foot-high white capital letters along the park boundary spelling out Graham ReynoldsÕ poem ÔHymn to the MoonÕ:
IN MUTUAL AUTUMN
FEEL FOG ROB ALL LIFE
GO, FLEE FOG
IN MUTUAL AUTUMN
WORD; OMEN; NO OMEN
O LUNA, NUL;
My first choice was Andrew Holmes's laser installation, which is entirely vandal-proof and an artwork which thoroughly connects the visitor to their surroundings and the heritage they carry. Who are these people whose signatures will light up the park approaches? Why are they the ones chosen to decorate the Palm House so proudly? What part have they played in the histories of Liverpool and the wider world? Can we learn from them, celebrate their achievements today? All these questions came to me while looking at the artistÕs plans today, and the HAT man said, have been a main topic of conversation with visitors all week.
No surprise then, that my two choices were the majority ones among all visitors whoÕve filled in survey forms. Will democracy prevail from here? Please, HAT, donÕt let the bus shelters win.