I am a great proponent of art in public spaces. While not every work achieves the iconic status of “The Angel of the North”, I think that public art serves to increase the happiness and well-being of the people who come into contact with it and as such is generally worth the outlay.
It is easy to criticise public art as a waste of money, and is a reliable space filler for certain newspapers. While I do agree that there are a few works that should never have been allowed to escape the artists subconscious, let alone their studio, but they tend to be far fewer than the Daily Mail would have you believe.
During the past few days I have been doing some work in The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital , which has quite a lot of art in its public spaces. The art works at the Chelsea and Westminster tend in the main to be abstract sculptures and paintings. Although it is the sculpture that catches the eye first. They are brightly coloured and essentially serve to make the main atrium and hence the hospital itself a place a place that welcomes you. They perform that function very well. I don’t think anyone would claim that they individually or collectively are great art, but I would argue that as an ensemble they work. It is good art.
On piece of work that I didn’t see is this piece by Barbara Hepworth whose work I love. But she probably needs another post(at the minimum).