Last night I posted a photograph I took of the new sculpture, Crossing (Vertical) by Nigel Hall, which has been donated to Barnsley by Yorkshire Sculpture Park and was yesterday installed on the site which will in just over a months time, be the new town hall gardens. I shared the news about this donation a few weeks ago here.
View of course are mixed, as they always are when it comes to art. Some questions its look, some its placement and other its relevance to the local economy, and while it’s hard to judge the look of the sculpture in its setting of the immediate area until the garden is complete and the hoarding comes down from around the site, it is important to know that the sculpture is a donation to Barnsley from Yorkshire Sculpture Park, but the council spend £4000 on special transportation and intallation, and it will cost £5000 a year to insure. The installation of the sculpture in the new town hall gardens is tied to the Experience Barnsley museum project, which in turn is funded by the Lottery Heritage Fund and the European Development fund. If you want to know more about what to expect in the museum, check out this insightful interview I had with Community heritage Curator for the museum, Jemma Conway.
My own take on it is, that I really like it, but I am a fan of this kind of sculpture and appreciate its links to our industrial past. To me it looks like a ladder and represents climbing and progression. But I also understand that others simply won’t like the look of it, but that’s okay.
Barnsley sits just outside of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, which is made up of key museums and galleries in Wakefield, Leeds and the Sculpture Park at West Bretton. They attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a yer and has helped no end those towns’ economies. The Arts Council of England posted a series of graphics last week which show just how much money the arts puts into local economy and employment. Why should Barnsley miss out of this?
These graphics clearly show how when investment is made in the arts, it does have a positive knock on effect on the local economy. With the empty retail units filling in the Arcade and the new museum and its gardens opening at the end of June, maybe this now means that Barnsley will now also benefit from some of this investment and growth in the cultural sector and be seen in a more positive light for a change. It is projects like this that brings in new business into towns. Let embrace it. We are ask why we don’t have the success of other towns and cities like Sheffield and Wakefield. Those are towns that embrace and invest in the arts. Let’s do the same.