‘Public art’ project in Newbury Park causes confusion

A proposed art project for Newbury Park sparked confusion and argument for councillors on Thursday.

The project has been developed to tie in with artist Mark Wallinger’s artwork to celebrate the Underground’s 150th anniversary, art which is being installed in every station.

The council has more than £8,000 to spend on a linked project paid for with money fenced off for art following a development in Perrymans Farm Road, Newbury Park.

While some councillors sitting on area committee four in William Torbitt Primary School, Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park, were expecting a proposal for a physical piece of art to be presented to them, they were in fact told of a plan to hold workshops as part of a “public engagement programme” around Newbury Park station, Eastern Avenue.

Arts development officer Jane Leighton said designs will then be posted on a website.

She added: “It’s hard to do a permanent art display on that money.”

After the plan was clarified, council leader Cllr Keith Prince said: “What’s being proposed is workshops involving schoolchildren. It’s not a work of art, which is fine.

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“If it encourages young people in particular to get involved in art, that’s a good thing.”

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