Residents oppose bus sculpture

By Ted JeoryTHE old coastal town of Walton on the Naze does not appreciate modern art, if its residents are to be believed.Internationally-renowned conceptual artist, Elizabeth Wright, plans to install a full-size passenger coach on its rear, with its windscreen pointing skywards and towering over the famous resort.

By Ted Jeory

THE old coastal town of Walton on the Naze does not appreciate modern art, if its residents are to be believed.

Internationally-renowned conceptual artist, Elizabeth Wright, plans to install a full-size passenger coach on its rear, with its windscreen pointing skywards and towering over the famous resort.

The work would be part of a three-year visual arts project called Coast, which was initiated by Essex County Council with lottery money and aimed at promoting the county's coastline.


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In a statement, the artist wrote: "With this new orientation pointing towards the sky and the future, the coach will be associated with a more glamorous form of air travel.

"For many people, the prospect of a holiday is a dream to escape. The coach will be a romantic symbol for holidaymakers, a vehicle for anticipation."

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Kay Twitchen, Essex County Council cabinet member for environment, culture and heritage, described the artwork as "innovative and unusual" and claimed it had the suuport of residents.

But when shown the East Anglian Daily Times' photomontage of how the structure might look, Walton on the Naze residents were horrified.

Robert Rees, 61, who moved to the town just four weeks ago, said: "My first impression is that there's been a terrible accident – I'd run down and see if I could help. I don't like the look of it at all, I wasn't expecting anything like that when I moved here."

Leonard G Parker, who lives on The Parade, said: "It looks a bit sick to me, like it's celebrating tragedy. It'll be tempting fate too – there's a lot of high cliffs around here. I'm not into this contemporary art at all."

Stuart Pennock, 32, of Hall Lane, added: "It's a waste on money, especially with all the things they should be spending cash on – it's disgusting. It don't think it does anything for the town. This modern art – I don't believe in it."

Davina Serle, a 24-year-old artist and graphic designer, said: "I don't see the point of it, what it's trying to say? I don't know too much about it, but from what I've heard it wouldn't be relevant."

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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