Monday, November 21, 2016

Vote damn you

Unless it’s a statue of a sporting hero or retired politician, putting large sculptures into a public space has always been a high-risk. Usually the fuss is geared up by the media prodding readers to make an extreme response so they can report it back as news. Perfect storm. Even better new tech tools enable editors to come up with ‘surveys’ to check the racing pulse of the public sculpture loving public. Loosely worded and structured these often set out to net naysaying.

So nice to see that New Plymouth rallied to the idea of yet more Len Lyes in their backyard. When the first Wind wand was erected many New Plymouthites responded by sticking up their own versions in a gesture that was part cheek, part my-kid-could-do it. This time a cluster of half a dozen mini-me Wind wands was put to the test in a poll of just over 1,000 people by the local newspaper. Forty percent were positive about this specific project, another 18 percent were positive about public sculpture in general and neutral about the project, and another 10 percent neutral to positive. Just 32 percent were strongly opposed. Given that two out of the four voting categories (‘ I like it’ and ‘It’s ok’) were tilted with negative overtones (‘but I’d like to see something different’ and ‘or I don’t really care too much’) that would have to be a pass. Please feel free to move around the cabin.