£127,000 for Sluice. Is it worth it?
CONTROVERSIAL artwork Sluice was finally unveiled at Ely riverside last week. The space-age artwork, created by artist Lulu Quinn, celebrates the construction of Denver Sluice across the Great Ouse, which prevented the riverside from flooding. Sluice res
CONTROVERSIAL artwork Sluice was finally unveiled at Ely riverside last week.
The space-age artwork, created by artist Lulu Quinn, celebrates the construction of Denver Sluice across the Great Ouse, which prevented the riverside from flooding.
Sluice responds to live data from the Environment Agency using light and video footage to represent how much water is flowing through Denver Sluice and local locks.
The Arts Council contributed £97,500 to the project, while £27,500 came via East Cambridgeshire District Council from money provided by developers. A council spokesperson stressed the money did not come from the taxpayer and was always destined for cultural enhancement of the city. Ely Perspective, a group dedicated to the regeneration of the city, contributed £2,000.
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Ely district councillor Jackie Petts, who was opposed to the project from its inception, said: "I'm not really qualified to talk about the arts but I just think it's a daft place to put something like that. My daughter was walking past when they were constructing it and when she came home she said to me they were building a barbeque down by the Maltings."
Councillor Sheila Friend Smith, who sat on the panel which selected the artist, said: "It's not exactly what I thought it was going to be. The price of steel has gone up substantially since the project began and the budget was restricted so it is smaller than originally planned. But you have to allow for an artist's concept to develop and I'm pleased we can finally celebrate the day."
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But the important thing is what you think. Go and have a look and let us know.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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Photo: HELEN DRAKE