Friday, 24 October 2014

We need more art

Hello. It has been reported that we are going to get a massive new factory on the banks of the Humber not far from here, and it's going to build new wind turbines. People are excited and rightly so, because there will be a few thousand new jobs created which are desperately needed for the area. Training has already begun in anticipation of this. 
I am in favour of exploring all sustainable energy sources, because one day the oil will run out. I know there is a lot of controversy around wind farms, but this post is not about that. One criticism is that they are ugly, but I have a solution to that. Why do they all have to be the same boring white colour? Who has decided that, the designers or the manufacturers? Was it put to a vote, or did one person sit at their drawing board and say, that's it, this is how I want them to be made, and they will be white?  
Well I have a better idea. Why not paint them different colours? Why not make them works of art? Paint hippy style flowers on them. Make them into trees with three branches. Put lights on them so they glow in the dark. Make them tourist attractions, start a turbine spotters club with a book so people can travel the country ticking off and photographing all those they have visited. Sell turbine spotters all inclusive holidays, it would do wonders for coach companies looking for business.

We could be the first country in the world to start a collection of artistic turbines. We could have visitor centre's selling mini turbine models. Trips up to the top of them for fantastic views. Helicopter rides to view them from above. There are endless possibilities. What we need at this new factory is someone with vision, someone who can exploit the full potential of money making spin offs. Even more jobs could be created.

As I walk around our towns I see lots of opportunities for improving the environment we live in. The dull drab exteriors of derelict buildings, empty shops, and groan inducing general mess of the place. I don't mean just litter, the way signs are put up everywhere which do absolutely zilch to cheer things up. What we need is lots of paint. We need empty shop fronts to be turned into works of art, posters to brighten them up. Brightly coloured waste bins. We need to think outside the box, not just take the easy option and stick with what it's always been like. We need more art.

Where is the creativity in every day life? Why keep doing something when with a bit of forethought things could be made better? Creative thinking and ideas should be encouraged, not just in schools, but throughout everyday life. We should not be accepting of, 'that's how it's always been', we should be doing things differently. We are moving forward in medicine, technology, and engineering, so why do we have to look at white wind farms when they could be so much better.

Now let's see what ideas you can come up with. What could be made better using art where you  live? Or has your council already come up with some good ideas?
Toodle pip

31 comments:

  1. Wind farms are ugly, destructive of wild birds (living creatures that are on the decline), and completely unable to rise to their task. It is a wanton act of destruction to put them in place to no real purpose. Creating jobs is no reason to put a project in action, when someones job is to the detriment of the environment. A failing society is one which has no useful purpose for all it's citizens. The world does owe everyone a living, as we invite people to live in it from birth, in an act of procreation that is a choice - no one asks to be brought here, so it should be fit for purpose. If it isn't then it should be changed. It is not a privilege to fight for a job and then be given one. There is plenty we could do that serves a useful purpose to employ people (but we don't), rather than a job creation scheme which is ultimately harmful. There are some jobs that are worse than no jobs. Job creation is the worst reason for substantiating a bad idea. Work should be meaningful, with purpose and not damaging to the environment. Making pretty windmills does not make it any better.

    We do need more art in our lives though and more trees and nature. Man is responsible for much ugliness. In architecture as well as in how our environment is allowed to decay.

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    1. My goodness you've got a bee in your bonnet, haven't you. I publish a light hearted, tongue in cheek piece, where the example of wind farms was not meant to be taken seriously, and you immediately go off on one.

      I did say.....

      I know there is a lot of controversy around wind farms, but this post is not about that.

      Try lightening up a bit, life will be a lot more fun.

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    2. I live in Lincolnshire. From my front room, I can see a wind farm in the distance. It's a good idea to paint them up.

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  2. So England get the jobs and Wales get the turbines on our beautiful mountains!!! I can't be lighthearted about wind farms when they are casting dark shadows over the stunning valleys of Wales. Life in the Welsh valleys used to be fun but the turbines are destroying our quality of life. Sorry Ilona but your brightly coloured versions wouldn't make them any more bearable or fun to live with.

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    1. Then lobby your MP about it.

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    2. Don't you think we've already done that?? We've tried everything but nothing stands in the way of these big companies once they wave their cheque books around.

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  3. Yes, anonymous, it is a bit deep isn't it.

    I don't particularly like these things either, we have a lot of them up here in Cumbria, but I don't think this is the right place to air those views.

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  4. Getting away from windfarms, and we have plenty of controversy in the US about them, too, largely about wealthy people stopping them from spoiling their ocean views (!) but getting to the vacant storefronts and dingy old buildings: yes, murals and color and art would be wonderful! and getting people to refrain from whitewashing the art afterwards would be nice, too.

    But I have another idea: art that isn't designed to be there forever! kids' work on walls, lovely colors, take pix, then whitewash and start over. That could be a lot of fun if building owners would agree, and it would enliven the neighborhood when they see that the art can be done over and enjoyed all over again.

    Ilons, how about sneaking out at night and doing a bit of painting yourself? stealth art, you know...

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    1. I don't think I have the bottle to do this myself, but a good idea to get kids to make art on blank walls. If it was under the guidance of a teacher, properly thought out with the kids ideas, I think it could be fantastic.

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    2. Sounds a bit like positive graffiti to me, lol, but I`m fully for that, too.

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  5. I don't think wind turbines are ugly at all; I like them. I like the simplicity of their design and the fact that they are white. I would hate them to be all different colours because I think that would detract from the beauty of the countryside around them.

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  6. Hi, I also can see wind turbines from my windows and I love it, They are wonderfull to watch when its really windy.
    Most days I walk across the fields with my dogs to watch them.
    I do agree a little colour would be nice . It would gladden the heart when you open the curtains in the mornings to see splashes of colour whizzing round.
    It isn't just Wales , or Cumbria that have wind farms, here in the midlands we do to.
    We use the power the same as everyone else, so it has to be provided.
    Well said Ilona, lets have a bit of zing in our lives.
    Plain Jane

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    1. Hi Jane. Yes please, more zing. If we have to have turbines, let's brighten them up a bit.

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  7. Ilona, you have stirred up a bit of controversy, for sure. My younger brother on the farm has one of the wind turbines in his field quite a ways away from his home. They say they never hear it running inside the house. There are a number of these scattered in fields near his home and it looks a bit weird, but they certainly are serving a purpose that is looking into the future. Here in Texas we are looking at a crucial need for more water to be available.

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  8. Yes please, more art and more beautiful wind turbines, their blades turning majesticaly across out windy hillsides, less nuclear waste please, less smelly coal powered power stations, just windfarms and art. Peace be with you.

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  9. I don't have any experience with wind turbines, but I think the old windmills were lovely to see. I like your idea of making the best of things.

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  10. I won't even enter my rant about Wind Farms or the fact they Do Not provide long term new jobs to the local economy because it only takes 3 or 4 people who have specialized training to operate them.

    The reason wind turbines are white is cost. It's cheaper to paint one color in automated assemble lines than all the man-hours need to mask, change paint, run the parts through the assemble line again and again.

    One interesting side note: Did you know that Wind Farms show up as tornadoes/extreme thunderstorms on the weather radar? Scary when you live in a tornado alley and need to know where and which way the individual storm cells are tracking.

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  11. I quite like white turbines, but I'm not adverse to colour. To the person who thinks Wales is being ruined by their presence, we have turbines along the River Thames - and we don't have all the jobs either! A couple of people just didn't read your post correctly - you were just making suggestions about their appearance.

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  12. Danneke here, I like to see the wind turbines scattered about, Cornwall has plenty of them as does lots of other counties. They stand proud like sentinals guarding the places they are at and if it helps to bring down energy prices I am all for that. Lots of farmers have had them on their land for years giving energy for the farm house and out buildings, saved us having dangerous candles all over the house.. I am tackling my housing assc: to use more solar power panels to cut the energy bills , some of my neighbors have them and think they are very good.
    Danneke

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  13. Second try at replying! Personally I think wind turbines are ugly and also a proven threat to wildlife. The cynical side of me has a horrid vision of them being 'sponsored' by large corporations. Imagine the word TESCO being painted in giant letters up the central column or 'Every Little Helps'! However.......that said we could do with a few more Banksies, Monet influenced murals or quirky Daliesque art adorning ugly old walls etc instead of the awful tag graffiti around these days.

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    1. Yes, more Banksies please, love his art.

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  14. Turbines might look ugly, but they are not environmentally hazardous like fracking or nuclear power. And in urban environments, why not follow Ilona's suggestion to paint them in bright colours! I think it's a great idea. In rural areas, paint them in camouflage colours. And as for turbine spotters, I've heard there's an electricity pylon spotter's club. And the pylons were hated when the National Grid was being built, but everyone got used to them, and people will get used to turbines in time.
    Paul H

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  15. silly to rubbish wind power. If we all want to enjoy electricity then we have to accept that the the means of generating it has to go somewhere. If I had to have a generating station nearby I'd rather it was wind or solar than a smoky traditional power station or a nuclear which would really scare me
    Jim

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    1. I quite agree Jim. Standing still is not an option, and I would rather live next to a turbine than a power station.

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  16. I would imagine that wind turbines are white to blend in with the sky.
    When i drive along the M62 and A1in Yorkshire i can see Ferrybridge, Drax and Gainsborough power stations and over in the distance wind turbines, i know which looks the nicest.
    Good news about the factory which will provide jobs but will it be for local people or will it be staffed by a large amount of eastern europeans like Tescos Goole warehouse.
    Town centres would definately benefit from a spruce up but with all the cutbacks where would the money come from?
    Tesco have 3 warehouses at Crick, i think 2 of them have their own wind turbines, one provides up to 50% of the electric and the other, a chilled and frozen warehouse makes around 10% of the power they use. I think turbines should be sited on industrial estates and retail parks.
    Dave.

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  17. Interesting post. You have a very creative mind and the world needs that.
    Too many people have no vision, so it's always refreshing to read your viewpoint.

    I think some people might have misinterpreted the post. I surmised it was about creativity, challenges,
    adding color to the world, and improving visual eyesores.

    Looking forward to your next post.

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    1. Thank you Glenda, A perfect description of what my post is about. You got it!

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  18. Wind turbines are white because of aviation safety. That is the only reason not cost.

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  19. Wind farms a a big con. Big money for land owners and energy companies, that we pay for with a subsidy on our bills. Power stations have to be kept running to account for when the wind is non existent or is only a breeze so save nothing of co2. See Alan Slomans anti wind farm blog. Plus they are destroying our wild uplands for greed. Look at Scotland as an example.

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  20. I assume they are white for visibility to aircraft, and sorry, Ilona, but I think white suits the clean lines of the structural design, also. I do hope someone will figure out how to keep birds away from them :(
    On the shopfronts, etc. I have seen many murals and mosaics in urban areas, which celebrated the local history and culture, which I found interesting and often quite impressive. Would be happy to see more!
    I think the big question is: who chooses the "art" that everyone else will have to look at? Remember your VERY strong negative reaction to a recent installation? Imagine if that was placed where you could not avoid seeing it, every day...
    I served several years on the Arts Council for my town. It was an interesting experience ;)

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    1. Good comment. I too love there stark simplicity. The trouble with art installations is that not everybody shares the same taste.

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