31 Jul

Image from the somewhat surreal Get your Slough-style bollards there. Is it just me, or does the lack of scale references in this image and the way they’re clustered together suggest another, more “adult” type of web store?

Via Artquest, who themselves wryly and slyly editorialise that it’s “a load of bollards”, another fine opportunity to work for nothing and to create a hideous public eyesore courtesy of Lambeth council:

“We are removing hundreds of metal bollards from our streets in London Borough of Lambeth as a de-cluttering exercise. In the current batch of works, the number would be close to a thousand, and we will be removing many more in near future. These will be recycled by our highways contractor, unless we find a better use for them.

‘If anyone would like to use these bollards for some public art / sculpture, they would be more than welcome to have them for free, but we would like the artwork to be installed in Lambeth. If someone can come up with an idea for their use in public furniture, such as seating, planters, etc. then it would be another good use. Occasionally we also find some very old bollards with unusual designs and sizes.”

So let’s recap:

You’re de-cluttering the streets by removing functional bollards, then immediately looking to re-clutter the streets with “close to a thousand” non-functional bollards.

Lambeth Council apparently thinks public art and sculpture consists of just piling up old crap. You’re a local authority, not an Etsy vendor or a home makeover TV show. “Yeah, so I jazzed up this boring courtyard area with some art made from upcycled bollards…”

Planters? Perhaps you could give us some clues as to how one would turn a bollard into a planter? Do you have any idea what plants (or indeed bollards) are and how they work?

Of course there’s no mention of money, whether it’s the money they’re presumably trying to stiff their contractors of by not having them dispose of the bollards, or the money that a local authority should pay to an artist when they commission a work of public art from her or him. For reference, the same bulletin at Artquest also has advertisements for legitimate public art commissions in Belfast with a budget of about £40,000, and in Swansea with budgets of between £40,000 and £100,000. Do you know why? Because that’s what it costs in order to have a professional artist and the team of people who support that artist design, fabricate and install a major work of art in a public place so it will be durable, suitably sited and safe.

PS: The owner of monomaniacal blog Bollards of London is going to be seriously pissed off that they’re doing away with a thousand bollards.

One Response to “TALKING BOLLARDS”

  1. Alistair 05/08/2013 at 4:59 PM #

    Reblogged this on Alistair Gentry.

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