On March 22, 2021, when Geoffrey Bartlett had been chosen as the successful artist for the Newhaven Public Art, I was sent a copy of his Concept Design and Development for the sculpture.
I am a resident who will directly impacted by the installation. I do not overlook the area. My concerns were the location of the work in an area already crowded at peak times, potential damage to the work by cars and boat trailers and the poor maintenance of the area by the shire.
The image in the Concept Design is that which appeared in the press releases to the Sentinel-Times and the Advertiser. The image is that of “Dancer 4”, a work by Geoffrey Bartlett now found in a private garden in Flinders, superimposed on the site in Newhaven.
I was alerted to existence of “Dancer 4” by another concerned Islander. Did the Selection Panel know that the proposed work already existed, that the image in the artist’s proposal was not created as a unique work for Newhaven? How much research did anyone do? Why would an image of a different work be published in the press release for Newhaven’s Public Art?
Under the image in the artist’s Concept Design is the statement – “This montage provides an indication of the finished work ‘Alpha’ and the materials that will be used, and illustrates how the sculpture maintains the views to the harbour.”
In the Installation, Materials and Finishes section of the Concept Design, the artist describes the included image. There is no suggestion that the art work for Newhaven will be other than that in his Proposal.
Responses from the Team Leader Arts and Culture at Bass Coast Shire to my concerns have been unsatisfactory. The work for Newhaven is now to have “significant design variations that ensures that it is a unique object”. Are these variations a result of the community reaction?
Is this ratepayer’s money being spent too freely and without scrutiny?
Penny Manning, Newhaven.