Agenda item

Proposal for the Temporary Installation of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly at Parliament Hill Fields


The Chairman introduced a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath regarding the temporary installation of artwork at Parliament Hill Fields.

            Ellin Stein commented that, whilst she had liked the Writer and the Visitor, this proposal was poor by comparison and that Jake and Dinos Chapman had run out of creative steam a long time ago.

            John Hunt felt that it was a fantastic proposal but expressed concern that the location would affect neighbouring trees. The Operational Services Manager replied that it would not, and that the location had been selected in liaison with the Hampstead Heath Ecologist. 

            Colin Gregory noted that he was in favour of the proposal.

            Jeremy Wright reported that the proposal had been discussed at great length by the Heath & Hampstead Society (HHS). He noted that the HHS was supportive of appropriate artwork on the Heath in the right place and for the right period of time. In considering if the proposal was artistically appropriate, the HHS was of the majority view that it was ugly and not child-friendly. It would be more suited to the more municipal surroundings of Golders Hill Park. Its proposed location on Parliament Hill Fields was on the cusp of where the more municipal part of the Heath gave way to its natural aspect, and that it would be better sited on the southern slopes, nearer the athletic track. Moreover, a one year installation was unacceptable and a six-month installation would be more appropriate.

            Susan Nettleton noted that people had managed to climb over the 9-metre tall Writer, and therefore were likely to climb over the much smaller proposal under consideration. The metal looked sharp and dangerous.

            Helen Payne commented that the pieces would be vulnerable to graffiti. Jeremy Wright agreed, noting that the pieces were corten steel, which is designed to rust evenly. This would make cleaning graffiti incredibly difficult.

            The Operational Services Manager commented that the installation would require the use of a crane, hence the decision to avoid Golders Hill Park where access would be difficult. The reason for the cusp location on Parliament Hill Fields was at the request of the artists, who wanted the pieces to be displayed in a semi-rural location – moreover the Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee had agreed to the use of the location in question in principle, at one of its past meetings. In their current location, adjacent to the Gherkin, they have been barriered off, but this was to stop shortcutting not for safety reasons.  Susan Nettleton commented that it was more likely teenagers would attempt to climb them rather than young children.


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