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Wild Shades

PUBLIC ART IN SWEDEN - on the Stenportsgatan, Lidkoping

31 May - 30 June 2008

Nicola has spend the Spring creating New Public Art in Sweden. "I am an artist from Glasgow, Scotland. I have recently bought a lovely house in Jarpas, and was considering painting it pink (not Barbie doll pink, but a soft rose) when I discovered there was a protocol to follow. I needed to apply to the Kommun for permission and the colour was to be acceptable to them. I could say that as this is my house I can paint it whatever colour I like. But would this be thought egocentric, and would it ignore the truth that one lives in an increasingly more crowded and complicated society in which exercising the freedom to express oneself can be seen at the least as dissent, at the worst as an attack.


When does the need for harmony and not upsetting others, become conformity and subservience.? The irony is that Society, in the long run, often advances because of the dissenters and the trailblazers, even though at the time they can be a "xxxxx" nuisance. If one has to conform to the general will, (which can end up being the lowest common denominator,) how is that will arrived at? By listening to the few who speak or who shout the loudest? In which the case the decision can be as idiosyncratic as if it were by an individual.


We all have an opportunity to explore these questions when considering the makeover that is planned for the Stenportsgarten here in Lidkoping, a collection of shops where styles and designs, interlocking and overlapping, have evolved over decades of decisions, but which has had over 33 years the common thread of the 24 beautiful lights, like translucent wild berries.


This seems the best place to start my public art event wild shades, I felt that this might give the public an opportunity to see the process of ‘a personal choice’ in action. I have asked the people who work in the shops on Stenportsgarden to create a single light shade out of cotton fabric. I have provided them with a simple pattern, in which they are welcome to add to. All I have requested is that the design be based on their own personal taste, such as selecting their favoured colours fabric and bits of lace etc… For four weeks you will see the personal tastes and artistic preferences of many individuals. There are 24 lights, 10 lamps per light, making it 240 light shades altogether. The public will able to see wild shades from May 31 – June 30.

 

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