Belfast Telegraph

COMMENT

It ain't art so why hang it up for the public to see?

Sara Ball

Driving down the road this morning towards the notorious 'House of Sport' roundabout, I noticed a carved wooden figure among the trees wearing a Victoria College scarf.

I do like a bit of public art installation – balls and dolls. Makes a change from 'the walls' – see what I did there? Although I do enjoy a nice 'Muriel' as my granny would have called it. Does anyone remember the Incredible Hulk on a gable end on the Ormeau Road? It was a whole different level of controversy in those days (the Spiderman fans went mad!)

There are of course people that argue that these objets d'art are a waste of public money but they make me smile (the people and the art). You could put the same money into a hospital or public inquiry and no one would notice the difference.

Have a leaf kicking walk in Lady Dixon Park stopping to 'park your hams' on the Finn McCool style pinecones scattered on the ground. A lovely park, still fragrant with fallen rose petals, but here's the thing. Notices everywhere to be responsible and clean up after your dog – but where do you put it? In the bins provided? Trick question as they are few and far between. Some dog owners have come up with an unusual solution – dog mess bags suspended in their branches like some grotesque hanging fruit or a Dali painting.

Why oh why oh why (am a beginning to sound a bit 'Barry Took') would you do that? What makes "responsible" dog owners pick up dog mess, put it in a non–biodegradable bag and hang it on a branch? Maybe Council workers should periodically harvest the bags as Alan Whicker did with the spaghetti trees.

But then again maybe they had enough on their hands during our long, hot summer trying to hold back the tide of off-licence bags, disposable barbecues and other detritus strewn by hoards of revellers across the grass.

At the risk of sounding like my mother I ask myself "would they do it in their own garden?" The answer to that has to be "no – because they have bins". I know that the responsible thing is to encourage people to take their rubbish with them but surely a "Plan B" of a few bins or skip given the volume involved might be in order.

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