Have your say in public art debate

Does Matlock need a piece of public art to enhance the Crown Square improvements?

That’s the question being posed by Matlock Civic Association as it kicks off a debate about public art.

The group is gathering opinions on the idea of a piece of public art for the town centre, located at the entrance to Hall Leys Park next to Crown Square.

To kickstart the discussion, the group has organised an illustrated talk called The A-Z of Public Art, by Paul Swales, an arts consultant who has been associated with a number of successful public arts projects.

Tony Symes, chairman of Matlock Civic Association, said: “Our members have been discussing for some time whether it would be a nice idea to have a statue, or even a fountain, in Crown Square at the entrance to Hall Leys Park.

“We feel it could add the finishing touch to the town centre improvements and provide an attractive focal point. We’d like to know what people living in Matlock think about the idea.”

MCA secretary Ken Parker said: “We want people to come and give us their ideas, such as things they may have seen on holiday or in other towns.

“It could be a traditional sculpture or a fountain or a more modern, avant-garde piece. We’re very open-minded.

“One of the ideas that has been discussed is a statue of John Smedley. We’ve also talked about a water feature, because Matlock grew up as a hydro town.”

Tony Symes added: “We’re very pleased that Paul Swales has agreed to give the talk, which will give us some food for thought as we embark on the project.

“It promises to be an interesting and amusing talk, so we hope people will come along and be ready to give their views about whether public art should feature in Matlock town centre.”

Paul Swales’s talk about the dos and don’ts of public art, with pictures of good and bad examples from other parts of the UK and the world, takes place at 7.30pm on Monday, May 9 at Bank Road Methodist Church. All are welcome.

n Share you ideas for the art work with Mercury readers. Email us at news@matlockmercury.co.uk or comment online at www.matlockmercury.co.uk on Twitter @MatMerc or on our facebook page.