22/05/2008

Cultural Politics

The general consensus* on Welsh blogs towards Dylan Hammond's representations of Thatcher and Bevan in the Assembly has been negative. Loath as I am, to break the consensus – I have to disagree. I think that they are bloody fantastic.

All art should provoke a reaction, and there is no doubt that Dylan's work has provoked a reaction. I have seen people polarised about public art on a local level before, either loving or hating something that is in their back yard, but I have never seen such a reaction to an individual piece of public art discussed with such passion on a national level before.

I went down to my local last night, where the UEFA cup final was being shown. Despite the football people were discussing Art and discussing the Assembly – an incredible experience! What was brilliant was the way the locals were claiming ownership of the Assembly - in a way that they didn't do last May

13 months ago if the pub regulars mentioned the Assembly elections it was along the lines of what's the point of voting for the Cardiff Assembly and its all to do with the south – it does nothing for us. Last night people were saying:

That bitch did nothing for Wales why is she being shown in our Assembly

I've voted Tory all my life, it's my Assembly too – its right that my politics is shown there – not just south Wales Labour

Gwynfor / Lloyd George were more important Welsh politicians and if it wasn't for Plaid / the Liberals WE wouldn't have an Assembly at all.


I've only seen the exhibition on the TV – I will make a point of visiting Cardiff soon to see the real thing. From what I saw on the telly what stuck me was the way that the images of both extremes of politician seemed to blend into the Senedd building – almost as if the Senedd was devouring them and saying this is Welsh politics now – you two are just shadows from an ancient past.

*Others on Hammond's art:
Leighton Andrews
Caerphilly.net
Socialist Unity
Bethan Jenkins AM
David Cornock
Valleys Mam
Normal Mouth
Amlwch-Magor
Cynical Dragon
............... and many more!

5 comments:

  1. I agree. I like the two portraits/ However, it was the European Cup Final last night, not the UEFA Cup Final.

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  2. You are behind the curve ordo bach.....it was done for nothing......by the artist.

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  3. You are behind the curve ordo bach

    Along with the rest of the Welsh public.

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  4. However, it was the European Cup Final last night, not the UEFA Cup Final

    Sorry Peter - I no nothing about football, but I know what I like :-)

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