Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mad Hatter's Sea Party

Whitstable reader Liz writes:

Having read in yesterday's Guardian that the 'wonkiest art event of the week' was going to take place in Margate I was intrigued enough to drive the 20 minutes to find out more.

Although Harold Offeh's 'Margate's First Beaux Arts Ball' courtesy of the town's Limbo Arts did not seem very well attended it did seem more authentic than the Turner Contemporary's recent bogus walk around a swimming pool. Locals were invited to dress up as their favourite buildings in the town and a parade was held in the afternoon.

Quite why it needed two video cameramen to capture this small group for posterity was however beyond me. Surely whatever funding went into that element could have been better used on materials etc? I have sent you some photos please feel free to use them on your excellent website.




18 comments:

Bertie Biggles said...

Is this utter tripe really what we can expect from the TC with £1,000,000 of subsidy from Thanet and Kent council tax-payers?

Anonymous said...

a missed opportunity to smear ourselves in charcoal and come as pleasurama, tivoli, scenic railway etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.......

Anonymous said...

20 minutes to get from whitstable to margate!it took me 40 minutes to get from the hare and hound lights to argos extra on saturday!

Peter Checksfield said...

That's because a train doesn't run along there 10:35...

Peter Checksfield said...

Ooops, I see she claimed to have drove there in 20 minutes, quite an achievement then! But it takes about 20 minutes via the fast train.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that wasn't meant to be an A in 'wonkiest'?

Perplexed said...

Whatever next? Are the people of Margate about to go parading round the town dressed up as their favourite councillors - on second thoughts probably best to take them to St Peter's and put them in the stocks for a few hours?

Anonymous said...

It looked like some harmless fun to me. People together, thinking about our town. I think participants paid for their own cardboard boxes so I can't imagine it will have cost the tax payer a million pounds.

I hope the moaners will come up with something better.

Liz (via email) said...

Thanks for publishing my email Richard. Apart from the argument over how long it took me to get to Margate from Whitstable (it was an estimate it may have been 30 minutes), my point was to draw a comparison between this event and the Turner sponsored Hamish Fulton walk around the Nayland Rock pool.

Although the Limbo Arts hat exercise may have looked rather silly and poorly executed at least it seemed a bit more genuine than parachuting an artist and 200 college students in for a staged performance purely for the sake of the cameras. I am not a philistine and we have some excellent arts events in Whitstable and I am sure the arts have a role to play in Margate too. However the people who are relying on public funding to make a living out of them should understand that imposing 'the arts' from the top down is going to meet with much more resistance from local people than nurturing it from the grass roots up.

Overall Saturday's event at least looked as if it could potentially have been fun and involved people from Thanet.

Kind regards,

Liz

Peter Checksfield said...

I agree with Liz.

Art Lover said...

That bloke in the top photo has missed out the first D. And the L's in the wrong place.

Anonymous said...

So Saturdays event in Margate wasn't funded then LIz?

Anonymous said...

Oh it was real, I thought I was flashing back again.

Anonymous said...

if you go to the Limbo home page, you will see on the right hand side ' with generous support from.....' 4 sponsors names, KCC included.

Liz (via email) said...

Of course it was funded. All art is funded. It has to be it is a minority interest which could not support itself but one which society deems to be worthy of support for the cultural and wider wellbeing of the country.

My point is that it is what you do with those funds that matters. Here in Whitstable I see many exhibitions at the Horsebridge which are not only interesting and thought provoking but which are also by local or at least Kentish artists.

Whilst the hats project at the weekend was in my opinion poorly executed at least it attempted to engage with the locals. The Hamish Fulton walk around the pool seemed to have no local connection whatsoever apart from the pool. If Hamish Fulton wants to make a video about people walking round in circles why could he not have done what any other film maker has to do and raise private funding for his crew, location and extras? If his video was any good he might then be able to recoup his costs by selling it. That way the public money that was used could have been spent on something else more culturally relevant to the area.

Kind regards,

Liz

Anonymous said...

We could have another event with the locals invited to dress up as their least favourite buildings, it would be far more popular.

Anonymous said...

We should have another event with locals invited to dress up as their least favourite buildings in the town, be far more popular.

Anonymous said...

As it can be found on every street in Thanet I would have expected to see a hat in the shape of a dogs turd. Very disappointing!