Archive for category Local News
FINALLY yesterday I got some funding from an anonymous donor (he was so shy and modest about helping the Arts that he masked his face while I signed the agreement to exchange two of my kidneys for a cash donation to my ARTworks- apparently you can survive with just the third kidney).
So I am happy to announce that there is no longer any need to rely on the ‘pigeons eating vomit’ performance art pieces of the last three days!! Sorry!
However, having learned my lesson of the need to pay attention to costs, I decided today to focus on a random and tiny local issue, to save money and avoid overstepping my budget again.
A completely random search of the world’s local papers came up with this tiny, barely noticed tale from Buckinghamshire in England…
Two days ago angry residents complained to Wycombe District Council chiefs over plans to cull pigeons in High Wycombe town centre. Councillor Clive Harriss said the move would ‘reduce the accumulation of faeces in the town centre, which can be a danger to human health’.
Ellen Wise asked the council to install a Dovecote, a home for pigeons, and offered to clean it ‘for a very small sum’. Councillor Harriss said buildings would be ‘infested’ with pigeons. Full story here
This story about pigeon murder made me ill. So ill I could throw up! I needed to express this nausea in art. But how? I wracked my brains for some way to represent this pigeon story that made me feel so physically sick.
All of a sudden, like a bolt of lightning or a surprise vomit on a pavement, it hit me! I realised the sculpture idea was STARING ME IN THE FACE, RIGHT THERE ON THE SCREEN.
For you see I had been researching the mythological Roman goddess Libertas. I realised if any form embodied these pigeons’ struggle it was she/her. She has always represented liberty and freedom and as I read of these attempts to not only control the population of these pigeons through mass murder but even to control their faeces output I realised this was a struggle for freedom on an epic scale.
Remembering I now have a budget to consider, I kept things simple. I made this 151 foot tall statue of Libertas out of a sheathing of pure copper, hung on a framework of steel on top of a rectangular stonework pedestal. I erected it in High Wycombe, just outside the generous Ellen Wise’s house, as a beacon for the pigeons to flock to. I inscribed the tablet Libertas holds with a welcoming poem for the pigeons to read, in case they were unsure as to whether they were welcome (I know what you’re thinking, how will they read it? Well you’re adorably forgetting that pigeons can fly so they can land on the tablet easily).
The poem reads:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The ‘tired and poor’ are clearly the pigeons, as they get tired from the constant waddling and they have no set minimum wage laws. The ‘refuse’ reference clearly directs the pigeons to poo wherever they want. The lamp she holds signifies lamps because pigeons are attracted to light. She also tramples a broken chain, representing the chain those council mayors often wear and their attempts to cull and cage the pigeons.
I have left the statue there in the hope that those jerks at City Hall see the message of acceptance and love that could be offered to these visiting friends, rather than treating them as little better than animals with such words as ‘infested’ and… ‘pigeons’! For shame Councillor Harriss! For shame!