Plymouth Ho Ho Ho

The Gormless sculpture recently unveiled on the waterfront in Plymouth is twice life size, weighs three tons and is made of cast iron which will be left to rust, rust being à la mode. Part of the contract with the sculptor says that the price paid can’t be divulged, which is slightly unusual considering public cash is involved. Many locals of course believe that whatever it cost it was too much. The only reason the price is kept secret is because it will seem to be extortionate whatever it is. The blue-rinsed genius himself is either embarrassed at what he charges, or he’s keeping it secret so he can later charge other customers even more, or perhaps less if he has a few gathering dust on the shelf. The local mayor claims the work is “world class”, “epic” and capable of “creating wonder”, presumably because that’s what Sir Anthrax told him to say. He also came out with the usual drivel common on these occasions that it would “put Plymouth on the map”, from which previously it been blackballed. We’ve heard all this said about works of public art before – haven’t we just. There was the infamous occasion when Dr Quack, now of the Tate, described three chromium bollards near Maine Road in Manchester as “a world class work of art”. Of course it was a porkie then and it’s an even bigger one now. So unimpressive is it no one even notices it. 

Your patience is now rewarded. Here is what Gormless himself had to say: “The work links the ancient stones of the Stonehenge era to modern skyscrapers”. It’s short but you’ve got to laugh, eh? He added: “I’ve always been drawn to the sea-board as a place of interface between stability and chaos, or the known and unknown.”