Arts & Elbows

A catalogue of commentary on events in Thanet and occassionally the rest of the world.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Funding at all time high, Art not.

Like a handful of sand in the face from a beach bully local artists and art spectators find themselves with an incredible lack of art around despite the record amounts being spent locally on public arts. The postponed Turner Centre is only part of it despite it being commonly held to blame for everything by everyone.
Following the despicable arson attack Ramsgate Library remains a smoke stained shell propped by scaffolding and surrounded by boarding. Memories remain of the large gallery it housed and the brilliant shows it held for decades, long before arts were trendy around these parts. The photographs of Bill Brandt and the sculpture of Anthony Caro were two such shows from some twenty years ago, and only recently have these two had a fair rattle of the tamborine from trendy colour supplements.
Similarily Margate Library used to show less well known practioners but no smaller was the talent on display. This space is now in darkness and unlikely to see such illumination again. Cutbacks are to blame for this, decimating outstanding staff with the confident reassurances from those in charge that all would be fine. Occassionaly when a librarian is now ill the library closes for the entire day, due to staff shortages.
The Outfitters Gallery was the original mini-flagship of the new wave of arts regeneration, few mention it now since it didn't really work. Despite the worthy effort of Jeremy and Linda it became clear it simply didn't have an audience especially with the lack of promotion from those in charge. Build it and they will come simply doesn't work anymore.
Broadstairs Cultural Centre is long gone, as are most of the brave new souls who opened this gallery or that shop believing that some support or vital help would be coming which unlike the cavalry in old westerns never showed.
The single growing practice is hanging art on railings, which is economically efficient and one of the few things an artist can do without having someone from the council get involved and turn it all to a sticky mush with enormous sums of our hard earned cash.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the fate of Margate Library's gallery is just the beginning.

9:19 PM  

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