There’s £60,000 available for this…

The crazy world of waste 1

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by Colin Campbell

DOES anyone know what the hell this is supposed to be? It’s been in situ at Friar’s Shott on the banks of the Ness since last November, and looks like part of a broken down wall that the builders forgot to knock down at the back of a building site. From whatever angle you examine it from, it has the appearance of some forgotten old ruin. Any day now, surely, someone would come along with a sledgehammer and apply the necessary finishing touches.

 But, of course, further inquiry will reveal it’s part of the River Ness “artwork” programme. Needless to say. If there’s some ugly carbuncle the arty-farty elitists can come up with to adorn the riverside, they’re guaranteed to unearth it.

 Over to Arts group chairman Isabelle Mackenzie, the driving force behind the loathed Gathering Place. She says: “The Seer (as it’s called) is a fascinating sculpture which is based on both local geology and local legend, which enhances its meaning and its draw. It is very fitting that it will sit in this particular location on the banks of the Ness so you can look through the stones up to the castle. I am sure that this will be a valuable addition to the cultural attractions of the Highlands.”

 How true. Don’t people just queue up every day to peer through the hole in the middle to look up at the castle? Don’t people come from far and wide across the Highlands to stand around and take photographs and admire this thing of beauty? Isn’t it a cultural attraction that inspires you to contemplate and reflect on local legend?

 Or alternately, as any person of moderate disposition would think, isn’t it an ugly eyesore that looks like it’s been brutally vandalised. And what’s the fascination of Isabelle Mackenzie and co with walls, broken down or otherwise. Do they intend to have jagged edged holes in the one planned for the Gathering Place as well? Not according to the “artist’s impression” but with this bunch of unpredictable artistic weirdos you never can tell.

 And the biggest, ugliest, baddest joke of all? It cost a reported £60,000 to create, much of it from local money. And while Isabelle Mackenzie and co feel free to crow over their latest flash of riverside inspiration, the joke really is on us.


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