After being involved in the “Weston Wonders” meetings from the start and gaining an insight into the process of getting this public art project off the ground, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the artworks in their locations. After seeing the photographs here on the blog, I have been meaning to get myself down and see the artworks as they take shape during the installation process, but somehow I just haven’t managed to see them.
I’ve got free time this week, but am making a conscious decision now NOT to go and get a preview. I have decided that I would like to see the work for the very first time on the launch day, so that I get the full impact of them, and then can compare my reactions to them to those of the general viewing public, and the other people I have been meeting with whilst learning about this project.
I am full of curiosity over what the works will be like, and how other people will view them. In light of the limited publicity over the project, I think they will prove to be quite a surprise to many people who live in the town who probably aren’t even aware they are to be unveiled. For me, the project fills me with excitement that some ‘real’ contemporary art is coming to my hometown. I hope that they will draw in visitors of another kind, and begin a shift in people’s minds that contemporary art is not just something you find in Bristol! There IS a fledgling art scene happening in Weston, you only have to look at some of the work that has been in The Bath Spa Gallery at Weston College over the past year. I am also making my own personal links with people involved in the arts in Weston through my involvement with this project.
My main hope is that this project will highlight that Weston could be home to a vibrant, flourishing arts scene, and will galvanize artists, writers and creatives to come together, make links, and make things happen. My fear? That the project will suffer the same attacks and criticism that other arts initiatives in the town have seen. The voices of those who feel that this project is a waste of money will probably be heard loud and clear, but I remain (naively?) hopeful of a positive response.