Karena Wynn-Moylan, Bangalow
It would be wonderful if Oliver Dunne’s article on the shameful fiasco that is the Roundabout sculpture opened up some sensible dialogue on the role of Public Art in our community but as he has pointed out all this episode has done is flush out the philistines, the knee jerk reactors and the outright nastiness that is directed against creativity in this shire.
As a professional artist of nearly 40 years, this episode is depressing on many levels. It shows a basic misunderstanding by a council committee as to how to handle Public Arts Commissions ( there are plenty of guidelines and qualified advice even within this community), it has allowed a faceless mob reaction to a work of art ( where does it stop?), it has even deprived the community of another proposed art piece from a development that will sorely need some lightening in Railway Park.
In the 1980s this area was truly alive with culture and arts activities- a fraction of it exists now and it struggles on in the face of indifference and it would appear thinly veiled hostility.
The vibrant culture that once existed in Byron Bay itself is being killed off by ever more escalating rents and clumsy attempts to create atmosphere by importing outside talents and ideas.