Why do we spend money on such stupid things and not on the needy? How can our local governments decide to spend $20,000 on asking a woman to make people yawn in an art gallery? Their point being… Well, I fail to see it. I hope she earned her $20,000 though. How did it help the world though? I don’t think it would help the hungry or find a bed for the homeless.
Why is a pile of rocks on a Footscray road installed for $170,000? Anyone wandering around the area would have no trouble finding a much better way to spend that amount. Real causes to help with. Kids need school clothes, so give it to the Smith family. They do a real job helping, as do the Salvation Army, a far better cause to donate to. A much better use of the money too.
In Cairns, far north Queensland, a large blob set them back $165,000, it was called Embrace. Yet, the money spent on this piece of art would have been far better off going to those in need in that area; a soup kitchen or a place to find cheap clothes, or perhaps to fund children going without breakfast? Give them a meal before school and help them feel better about the day. There are many things that need that sort of cash. Not a large blob of stone.
Where I live, Rotary and Lions actually do real good, they provide wood for those unable to afford it, and have cheap accommodation near the medical center for those who have family in hospital. Twice a week there are free meals given away. Food is given out (frozen cooked meals) to anyone who shows up. Furniture is found if someone has none, bedding packs and clothes too. If anyone is ill people turn up with hot meals, and any catering is always so generous. Those country women can cook and know how to be generous too.
I may seem as if I am being unkind about art, but that is not true, I love art and appreciate paintings; I paint and so does my husband. I also appreciate beautiful stone sculptures from the past, and have a son who works in stone too – he trained in England as a mason, restoring old buildings and churches. I just feel that we have lost our way and keep looking for more and more controversial art, so that it becomes a ridiculous exercise.
I went to a modern art exhibition in Melbourne a few years ago. There was a piece of rope across a corner about a foot off the ground… that was a work of art! A table full of animal teeth was also art! It got worse, but I think it became like the emperor’s clothes, people pretending to be impressed because it made them appear enlightened. We got almost thrown out when my husband gave a swinging ‘room’ hanging from the ceiling a gentle push. It swung back and forth dangerously and the attendant chastised him.
We desperately need more transport for our town and when my husband was on the council a few years ago he managed to get a bus running to Traralgon, but we need another to Sale and more to the city. Often the spending goes on huge buildings in the next town, and again not on essentials. Several important employers have moved away or closed business, so it means even less jobs. Empty shops stand out like bad teeth in a smile, their dark interiors heralding doom and gloom.
Our health centre has been floundering the last year or so as we can’t seem to keep doctors here. It is a serious problem with our ageing population needing after hours care, which is impossible with just one doctor. It was decided we needed a new medical clinic, but this has now dragged on with the building not being used for almost a year. Now we have been given the first glimpse of the building they propose; it is like the Sydney Opera House and totally inappropriate for an addition to a small cottage hospital. And the amount it will cost is double what we imagined… We want doctors and a place to see them, not some huge edifice that looks like it belongs in Brooklyn, New York. When will they listen to the locals? When will this spending on gigantic buildings stop? They did not consult the people of our town, it was just decided. Another case of over-spending and a lack of pure common sense it seems.
They spend frivolously on oversized constructions and dubious art installations. Our money too! One thing I do love though is the new trend where artists are decorating large silos, which brings visitors to the area, and also often feature local people or views. That does make sense – one step in the right direction.
I suppose we will get used to the huge new building, I just hope it has at least three doctors and in spite of its high archways and all the fancy decorations, all we really need is ongoing care. Oh, and a bus to get us to the specialist we need, might be a consideration too.