Thursday, 19 April 2012

Casual Observations 2

On Tuesday I had an article published by the Guardian's housing network about the issue of Scottish eco housing and its relationship with independence, here. It features interviews with the Scottish minister for housing and transport, the Scottish Green Party co-convener, a policy writer for Shelter Scotland, and the chair of the Scottish Ecological Design Association. (NB: I still haven't changed my profile photo, and I still look like an ETA terrorist, which validates the entrance fee alone).

More on Frank Dobson, this time from the national archives. It appears that 'Woman with Fish' was not the only sculpture of his to be rejected. In 1950 he was commissioned to create a, 'full-scale clay model of a high relief for the Post Office in British Guiana', which was also aborted, this time by the commissioning body. The article reads (with reference to documentation):
File CO 111/818/8 opens with a letter written to The Colonial Office by the British Guiana Governor, Sir Charles Woolley, on 4th July, 1950. It enclosed the “Daily Argosy” article referred to above .The Governor states that "the design is utterly unsuitable and further work should be stopped on it at once" He asked that the Colonial Office contact the architects Watkins and Partners and arrange for all work on the project to be suspended. He accepted that "Dobson will have to be paid for what has been done" and went on "perhaps some less advanced sculptor can produce a suitably elaborate edition of the Colony’s Arms or something of that nature instead.”
Unfortunately the article does not describe the statue or why the British colonial officers did not like it. It does, however, include some amusing newspaper headlines such as, 'ART? MY EYE!' and a letter headed,  'SHOCKING AND HORRIBLE THING'.

And finally, just a quick mention of Guardian reporter Helen Pidd, who has been doing an excellent job covering the trial of Anders Breivik. Personally, and aside from the enormity of Breivik's crimes, one of the most distubring aspects that the case illuminates is the prevelance of attitudes about race and national identity similar to those of Breivik's that I have heard used in casual conversations here in London. Appalling.

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