Friday, May 05, 2006

Naked Shed Spin off. How would the public at large respond to a naked shed?

How can a naked shed be represented? How would the public at large respond?

These questions arose out of a want to display the artists work following the roundhouse shed event. Could the drawings be displayed on the outside of a shed that would then displayed in a public park? How could the public at large engage with our project? Would permission be granted?

The naked shed spoke to the local area parks manager to suggest the idea for a temporary sculpture. After initial amusement at the prospect followed by concerns that a child might get shut in, the following e-mails between Naked Shed and Parks Manager show how the conversation unfolded.

Naked Shed
Following our phone call yesterday, I've attatched an image of how the shed might look. There will be a gap where the window is and instead of battoning down the door, it may be better to take it off completely. The images won't be as detailed as these ones, but this gives you an idea.
The preferred siting will be to the right of the new path (approaching from train station).

The dates will be from 20th -25th May

Thanks very much,

Parks Manager
After discussions with my manager we feel it would not be appropriate to display
this in a family park.


If you do anything else in the future which you would like us to consider then
please get in touch.

Naked Shed
Thought you might say that. It reminds me a little of Roger Burnett's nude statues for Calderdale Hospitals. However, although at first, there was a great deal of controversy, latterly following public support, hospital chiefs have decided to accept the statues after all. So my question is simply this: If nude statues can be commissioned and displayed for Calderdale Hospitals, why can't figure drawings be painted onto a shed and exhibited in a park? After all, children frequent both places.

Thanks for your time and kind consideration,

Parks Manager
I've copied my manager in on this so that he is aware of your comments.

Why do organisations get upset about nudity? When is not ok for art to be naked? After all several cities have a nude statue. Italy is filled with naked sculptors. Are those thought of as crass exhibitionsm or celebrated culture?
In the case of sculptor Roger Burnett, according to the Halifax Courier, "A row has blown up after Calderdale and Kirklees NHS Trust suspended his £80,000 commission...saying the classical sculptures were "not appropriate."" But then, "after Courier readers supported the statues through a poll and 250 people viewed them at Mr Burnett's studio, hospital chiefs had a change of heart" and now "The trust is continuing to work with the sculptor to explore suitable locations." (Extracts taken from Halifax Courier)
Why is it perfectably acceptable to have an old naked statue but not a new one? Does this worry about nudity simply arise because people are just wanting to cover their backs? Are people really shocked about nudity? Do people think their children will be damaged for life if they see a nude image? Are children bothered by nudity? What are the real issues here?


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