Out of touch

I spent a month recently in a 12th-floor ward google_ad_width = 970; of the new Royal London Hospital in


Who do these hospital administrators and self-styled ‘curators’ think
they’re kidding about the therapeutic value of this
stuff? And in all the weeks I didn’t google_ad_slot = "6023194682"; see a single other person stop google_ad_height = 90; to look at anything – in this respect it reminded me of the National Gallery. Fortunately, my ward was spared this nonsense. The only visual interest was in


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of what for those of us peering out was a very distant seeming and wistful outside world.

size-full wp-image-1295" title="Orbit" src="http://www.thejackdaw.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Orbit.jpg"

alt="" width="432" height="611" srcset="http://www.thejackdaw.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Orbit.jpg 432w,
http://www.thejackdaw.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Orbit-212x300.jpg 212w, http://www.thejackdaw.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Orbit-38x55.jpg 38w" sizes="(max-width: 432px) 100vw, 432px" />From my bed I had the worst possible view, a panorama restricted by the hideous wing opposite.

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It looked north east away from our google_ad_width = 970; great
meandering river, City monoliths, pretty Wren churches and Greenwich majesty, towards the google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; suburban

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of Walthamstow and Gant’s
Hill. Central to

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this limited aspect was our Airfix Olympic stadium with its pet cancer … Anish Kapoor’s Orbit. Disappearing anonymously among cranes and building sites, the little Indian’s
inoperable whimsy looked as
helpless as any

other unfinished structure. Every time I opened my eyes there it was, drug-induced hallucination having the power to transform it into visionary torture.
knew exactly how Macbeth felt at the banquet – “quit my sight”. And every time I wondered what the hell it was there for.

To discover if it owned any sense I tried drawing it, but

it was formless and ungainly, google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; without src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> distinctive mark or symbol, rhyme or reason. Nothing commended it. Neither were the nurses any more insightful. Most hadn’t

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noticed its existence and of the remainder not one had a kind word, the google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; most frequent observation being: “What’s it supposed to be?” (Incidentally, this is an intelligent question.) Given the shortages, abuse and poor conditions

​ under which these generally marvellous carers toil, google_ad_slot = "7160667483"; this ‘sculpture’ seemed a public

folly too

Orbit is a perfect example of the trash you get if you allow art to be /* 9-970x90 */ governed by a small number of people with mutual

interests, none of which concerns public desires or needs. For this /* xin-1 */ is specialist gallery


art foisted on
a bemused populace. Orbit is and will remain

meaningless to everyone who looks at it. It //--> will never become a source of national pride or a rousing emblem because, unlike, say, the Peel Monument on the Pennine ridge above //--> my home
town, it is not assertive, commemorative or instantly recognisable, and being asymmetrical, it has no fixed google_ad_width = 970; image in memory, no face, no charm. It is the opposite of beautiful and it tells no story and

invites no thought. Also, it fails
the important Lavender Hill Mob Test: no one will buy a souvenir Orbit in the way that millions own dinky Eiffel Towers, whether of stolen gold, base metal


or otherwise.

Like all the art commissioned for the Olympics which


was supposed to form part of the event’s legacy, Orbit is a characterless failure