by Colin Campbell
A DEPICTION of a giant male sex organ is now the most talked about and unmistakable feature of the Inverness riverside.
It adorns the £360,000 concrete slab/slum called the Gathering Place, built by the council in the face of intense public hostility and a protest petition signed by thousands.
This was first drawn to our attention by a contributor to our comments section who said: “As of mid-day 15/12 no attempt has been made to cover up male sex organ graffiti on the outer edge of the artwork.”
But we did nothing about it at the time, assuming it would be rapidly covered over by the council.
But it hasn’t been. And it won’t be anytime soon.
A council spokesman yesterday said: “Due to river levels, attempts to remove the latest graffiti had to be curtailed, noting the need to maintain the health and safety of the cleaning operatives and the need to maintain the highest standards of care to the natural environment of the river.
“Renewal will recommence as soon as it is safe and practical to do so. The graffiti will be removed, however, only once river levels allow.”
When do they expect that to be? March, April, May?
In the meantime it would appear to be beyond the entire resources of Highland Council to drape a covering over the depiction. And if not, why haven’t they done that? The only reason that readily springs to mind is that this would be out of keeping with the appearance of the structure.
Better to have it adorned by a giant penis instead.
Members of the public very strongly disagree. But when has the council ever paid any attention to what members of the public think of this ghastly concrete apparition built on a natural riverside beauty spot?
They seem utterly shameless.
So we have adapted and updated some of the ludicrously extravagant quotes from councillors and creators used to hype up this godforsaken riverside travesty for a more accurate representation of the scenario as it now stands.
Arts group chairwoman Isabelle MacKenzie: “The Giant Penis site will be unique and something that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.”
Provost Helen Carmichael: “I hope that the Giant Penis site will not just be an asset to our city, but a place where people will be able to come together to pause and reflect on the joy of human interaction within the amphitheatre of the river.”
The designers, Glasgow based “artists” Sans Facon: “Partly nestled into the riverbank and floating above the water, the Giant Penis site aims to reconnect the city with the river, drawing out its stories, engendering a sense of place and creating a sense of place and creating access to the river.”
Any impression inferred that we find this a source of knockabout humour is entirely mistaken, as a raft of previous articles clearly indicate.
Children used to be play at this location at the riverside. NOW PARENTS WILL HAVE TO COVER THEIR EYES.
It is a disgrace and a total humiliation for Inverness.
But the council’s statement that they are unable to do anything about this riverside dominating obscenity really is the last straw.
The OpenNess campaign group has pledged to highlight the roles of councillors who voted for this debacle which has turned within months of its opening into a slum and now an obscenity.
They are responsible for the obscenity now dominating the Inverness riverside, likely to remain there for weeks, if not months.
In the upcoming May council elections, if they have not already quit in disgrace:
VOTE THEM OUT.