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Cheese Wotsits
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Post by Cheese Wotsits » 12 Jun 2009 13:09

The Clown wrote:Please not a mosaic or mural showing some naff community scene....
Looks like if that's what we'll get.

Has anyone had a look at the link Robin Orton shared with us? http://www.buddmosaics.co.uk/ These are some of the work samples they have. I don't think they're appropriate for the building. It'd be like giving it a coat of mud and wrinkles as opposed to a facelift.

Image

In my opinion this will be a WASTE of money, money that we don't even have! To tell the community "pick, a 50k mosaic or nothing" is not fare!. We should be able to decide if we want to spend 3,500 to do something like what Lee proposed in his 'What if', X amount more if we want a 'green wall' or go bonkers spending money that we don't even have on this mural.

Spending that kind of money on that when other areas of Sydenham like Home Park are being neglected is simply wrong. Even unethical.

Robin Orton
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Post by Robin Orton » 12 Jun 2009 13:49

The mural will probably only appeal to older people, if at all.
Try substituting 'football' and 'younger' for 'mural' and 'older', Poppy, and see how that reads! In any case, I'm puzzled by the idea that mural appreciation is somehow age-related!
To tell the community "pick, a 50k mosaic or nothing" is not fare!. We should be able to decide if we want to spend 3,500 to do something like what Lee proposed in his 'What if', X amount more if we want a 'green wall' or go bonkers spending money that we don't even have on this mural.

Spending that kind of money on that when other areas of Sydenham like Home Park are being neglected is simply wrong. Even unethical.
Presumably, Cheese Wotsits, it was open (and will be open again on the next round?) to you or anyone else to make bids to the Mayor's fund for Lee's 'What ifs', Home Park, or anything else. It sounds a bit dog-in-the-mangerish to object at this stage to a project which somebody else had the initiative to put forward just because they got in first!

leenewham
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Post by leenewham » 12 Jun 2009 14:22

Well, perhaps I will put forward a proposal, but the whole thing came to late for me and I was unable to attend previous assembly's as they are in the evening and I normally get home late.

I think it's perfectly reasonable to object to a proposal if you disagree with it, especially if you have only just heard about it.

I'm all for public art, but we really need to sort out our priorities. I'm sure the council are well meaning on this and have probably had endless meetings, consultations, and process but:

WE REALLY NEED TO LET COMMON SENSE RULE OVER PROCESS.

bag lady
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Post by bag lady » 12 Jun 2009 14:26

I really don't like the mural idea, awful.
They are so dated and as Sydenham is hosting it's first art festival i'm sure our local artists, schools, community groups and leenewham could come up with a better idea to spruce the naborhood and surronding areas up.

It's scandalous that £50,000 is being spent on a mural.

Just because one person put in an application for money to the Mayors fund and got it doesn't make it right, or a true reflection of the communities wants, needs or wishes.

Robin Orton
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Post by Robin Orton » 12 Jun 2009 15:10

Leenewham said:
I think it's perfectly reasonable to object to a proposal if you disagree with it, especially if you have only just heard about it.


Couldn't agree more, but I suggest that at this stage, given last night's vote, it's better if people now discuss the merits, i.e. say why they don't like it (as Lee, to be fair, has, although in a commendably provisional way, having missed the presentation), rather than just saying 'why not do X instead'? This will give defenders of the project a case to answer. Dated concept, naff, 'poor man's art which would drag the area down', appeals only to older people, evocative of toilets (do these last two go together?!), inappropriate to/impracticable given the state of the building, design should be open to competition? All of these?
WE REALLY NEED TO LET COMMON SENSE RULE OVER PROCESS.
A dangerous doctrine, in my view! Process attempts (not always successfully) to give everyone a voice. 'Common sense' is subjective - whose version is to be taken as authoritative?

leenewham
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Post by leenewham » 12 Jun 2009 15:29

Common sense:

Problem:
We think the nabourhood centre looks crap.

Answer:
Lets do it up.

How do we do this:
Lets look at what the best way to make it better. Lets ask the people who use it how it should look. Lets invite ideas for how to make it better, then lets cost them.


Process:
WE NEED TO USE OUR MAINTENANCE FUND
The council have 100 buildings to maintain. This funding is done on a cyclical basis. We do not know when the nabourhood centre is part of this cycle.

WE HAVE A £50,000 FUND TO SPEND
We have £50,000 ponds to spend, what about some public art? Where can we stick it? How about the nabourhood centre, it looks a bit crappy, public art is good, public art is nice, people like public art. We can make it reflect history and everyone who lives in Sydenham

I don't think that's subjective. Why not define a problem, then invite ideas to fix it. Why not use the next assembly to define problems in Sydenham THEN allocate funding to fix it.

I think THAT'S common sense.

simon
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Post by simon » 12 Jun 2009 16:21

First off, we don't have £50,000 to spend on doing up the Naborhood centre. There was £17,000 on offer last night, which five different projects bid for, with a total of £21,000 being asked for. The Mosaic's proposers were asking for £10,000 out of a total of £50,000 that they estimate the mosaic will cost. They believe that were they sucesfull, they could find other sources of finance for the rest.
What people were asked to vote on last night was what their preference was for the how the £17,000 should be spent; so the mosaic was pitted against three youth projects and the radio project.
The Assembly pocess is deeply flawed in my opinion and last night I got the distinct impression that we wlould have to keep voting until the desired result was achived. In the end, after three votes, three projects were tied in second place so the £17,000 was exceeded. We were then told that how the money would be allocated would be decided at a later date, behind closed doors. So much for democracy.
I also got the impression that the process was being made up as we went along. There was no real explanation as the how the voting sytem worked, with the results displayed in % terms of total vote, but no explanation as to how that figure was arrived at, seeing as there seemed to be using a preferential voting system.
I'm sure there is debate to be had as to how to improve the look of the High Street, as there is about how youth and community projects are funded, but first perhaps we should have debate how the Assembly should work so we can avoid pointless exercises like last night.

Robin Orton
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Post by Robin Orton » 12 Jun 2009 17:39

I agree in principle with Lee and Simon's last postings. The procedures so far have been far from perfect. But I'd feel a bit uneasy about going right back to square one so far as the mural is concerned, lest the best become the enemy of the good. Starting the whole process afresh might result in losing momentum and in nothing at all happening for a very long time.

I personally remain of the view, which is obviously (from the vote last night and some comments on this site) widely, though not universally shared, that Sydenham as a community would benefit from some good public art and that this might usefully explicitly commemorate and celebrate the locality, both as is it is now and its unique past. Using a mural on the exterior of the Naborhood Centre to do this is clearly controversial one. But lots of people at the assembly clearly voted for it having seen the presentation and I would personally hope it can be explored further. Obviously, wider consultation would be necessary at a later stage if the project firmed up.

leenewham
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Post by leenewham » 12 Jun 2009 17:57

Just out of interest, how many votes were cast last night and how many votes did each project get?

MiniFox
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Post by MiniFox » 12 Jun 2009 18:23

Sorry, I hate murals
They look grubby, tired and I'm not sure who they appeal to
And I think they's look especially rubbish on that building
I applaud that someone bothered to come up with a proposal, but I dont like the solution in this case

simon
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Post by simon » 12 Jun 2009 18:30

Thats actually a difficult question to answer Lee, so opaque was the process. However, the second round voting was 22% for Switch It (youth football), 21% Youth Forum development, 21% Radio, 18% for Youth Forum Youth Fund and 18% the Mossaic. The third round was 21% Switch It, 20% each for Youth Forum development, Radio, and Youth Forum development and 18% for Youth Forum Youth Fund.
Everyone had to vote for all five in order of preference, although the distribution was never explained.
Hope that helps!

parker
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Post by parker » 12 Jun 2009 18:35

Why do Lewisham Council spend tax payers money on SH*T, why do we want a mosaic?!!!!!!!!

Can Lewisham please tell me, id love to know!

Is there any such thing as economic efficiency involved here!!

Cheese Wotsits
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Post by Cheese Wotsits » 12 Jun 2009 18:39

it just becomes more and more evident that the whole process (at least so far) has been far from ideal. Esentially Sydenham was asked:

"we proposed to do the Naborhood centre up, you can have:
- a mural
- a mural
- a mural
- or nothing
what do you prefer?"


there was no real choice! I vote to do the place up, just not with a mural!

Juwlz
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Post by Juwlz » 12 Jun 2009 23:13

The person/people who did the fab murals on the greyhound hoardings should be put in charge of any potential 'artwork' on the naborhood building.

biscuitman1978
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Post by biscuitman1978 » 13 Jun 2009 11:14

Three points:
1. Sorry I couldn't be at the Assembly meeting - other commitments elsewhere
2. All credit to those people who made the effort to develop and present ideas to the Assembly, but...
3. ...I agree with leenewham and Cheese Wotsits - we need to identify the problem, come up with a range of ideas to fix it, then choose the best one(s), not simply choose the first suggestion which vaguely fits the bill

At the moment, I’m not quite clear what is proposed. Peopled have referred above to both murals and mosaics. Based on Cllr Chris Best’s original post, I assume it is the latter.

For what it’s worth, I think the problem is that the Naborhood Centre looks rather tired and unwelcoming. Might a mosaic fix this? Probably not, as the remainder of the building would still look tired. It might even make things worse, as mosaics can look very dated.

A mural would also face the same problem – the rest of the building would still look tired. If carefully designed, a mural could look a bit more up to date than a mosaic, but it would probably need to be simple silhouetted images on the white background if it was to ‘fit’ with the design and architectural style of the building.

A far better option would be to improve the building in the way suggested by leenewham in his ‘What if?’ series. There might be other options, and it would be good to hear them.

And finally… I don’t want to dismiss murals and (perhaps) mosaics out of hand - they can look great. Juwlz is right to point to the fantastic work on the hoardings outside the Greyhound. How about a mural on the flank wall of the building next to the Naborhood Centre?

SMOKEIT
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Post by SMOKEIT » 13 Jun 2009 11:22

THE MURALS ARE TIRED, DATED A WASTE OF MONEY AND COMPLETLY INAPPROPRIATE . I AM SO ANNOYED THAT WE CAN PI$$ MONEY AGAINST THE WALL....LITERALLY.
THE EXAMPLES ON THE WEBSITE ARE HORRID.

I THINK WE NEED TO SET UP SOME SORT OF DESIGN BOARD TO PREVENT THIS KIND OF SHITE HAPPENING AGAIN

SPEND THE MONEY ON LEE'S PROPOSALS!!

coll
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Post by coll » 13 Jun 2009 11:25

That assembly meeting was a sambolic disgrace. I’m so glad to see so many people opposing the voting and the way Cllr Best dealt with it. I was the person who asked if they could simply knock £2000 off the proposal of the mosaic so that all the projects could get funded. She shut me down is abruptly and virulently that I sat for the remainder of the meeting in a daze. Her explanation of ‘matching funds’ was completely ludicrous (if people so badly want the thing, I’m sure they could raise the additional £2000 in fundraising). She then suggested pretty much the same idea of adjusting funding when the Mosaic didn’t win. Then they simply threw democracy in the bin and voted a 3rd time. You get the sense that some people will get what they want regardless of the larger communities wants or needs (i.e. CCTV cameras directly outside their residence)

I predict that the ‘modernist’ style the centre was done in will eventually become vogue again (if the upkeep to the façade is done properly). It’s happened with the 1960’s modernist homes on the top of Sydenham Hill.

I use to live in Swiss Cottage. Swiss Cottage Library was a mess done in a similar style of the Naborhood centre. They had a firm come in an ‘fix’ it. The results were amazing. It’s a building that now sits comfortably at the heart of the community. The centre could be face-lifted for a heck of a lot less than £50,000.

As for the mosaic I really believe that this type of public art becomes exactly what it is, an afterthought – bad attempts to smarten up an area. They did it I Kilburn with a massive mural outside the tube. It is great in theory, showing the diverse history of the area, but the execution looks bad and so quickly was the victim of graffiti. This mosaic idea is kind of charming but it’s a mismatch. It’s taking a building from one period and gluing on an idea from another period without much tactical thought.

I really believe less is more and a much less expensive facelift is the way to go but I know that will not happen – too many sensible people want that and that always seems to be the kiss of death!

leenewham
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Post by leenewham » 13 Jun 2009 13:18

I worked at the design company that design Oval and Hammersmith tube stations and the Bluewater shopping centre. We created mosaics and murals for all of these, but on the inside of buildings. Generally they work really well there as they are protected from the weather. They are still in use over 10 years later.

The council commissioned a mural where I lived in Devon and it cost £10,000. It lasted 2 years before the paint peeled off and the had to repaint it...in plain white paint.

Whatever changes we make have to be sustainable.

parker
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Post by parker » 14 Jun 2009 01:14

I agree Smokeit, its just scandalous that anyone can see sense in spending this money on a mosaic, the priorities need to be dealt with first, there are too many things wrong with Sydenham that need to be put right and the lack of mosaics is not one of them. How on earth did this become more important than actually painting the nabourhood centre?

As for it being a symbol for the diversity of Sydenham or whatever, im sure that the people the stupid mosaic is supposed to represent would prefer a better fitting high street with new street furniture than a pricy peice of art that actually stands for nothing. And who would it represent, the people who currently sit drinking alcohol out of Somerfield bags on the broken benches??

Im sure that in Sydenham somebody would probably try to steal it or deface it. Maybe if the high street looked in a fit state right now it would be ok to spend money on this but in an area that currently looks shabby people will not show any respect for something like that. The money could be spent more importantly elsewhere, why not put it towards the ugly blue/white Lewisham road name signs, ultimately it may prove more effective in improving the look and feel of the area.

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