I would like to thank Greg Maynard (Observer, September 29, p1) for your views about the new installation adjoining Cathedral Green.
May I first make sure you are familiar with the circumstances in so far as the sculpture is entirely privately sponsored, both in terms of its rental for three months/ insurance and the delivery/ removal – the piece is part of an awareness campaign by Chichester City Centre Partnership to support Chichester BID (www.chichesterbid.co.uk).
Your animated response has clearly caught the eye of the headline writers at the Chichester Observer.
However, I would ask that you take another look at the piece now that the fencing and works of construction have been removed; its simplicity is a reflection of the style of the sculptor (www.gilespenny.co.uk) and should not be confused with a naive and childlike response for a children’s playground.
When initiating this process, there were always going to be risks, because a single piece cannot satisfy the subjective views of the entire population, whether they be young or old, religious or atheist, black, white or green. Some may argue that a new representation of some long-dead bishop may be appropriate, maybe that is where your taste lies, but unfortunately it inspires very few.
It has certainly engaged the public and will continue to do so over the coming months – I like its simplicity and if you give yourself time to reflect, you may see that the subject of the piece could have many interpretations, as two people lightly holding hands as one drifts away.
Why don’t you be objective for one moment and accept that it is both inoffensive and provoking at the same time? After all it is a temporary piece and its message, if there is one, will disappear as quickly as it came.
Please take the time to look at what the City Centre Partnership and Chichester BID want to achieve.
Chairman, City Centre Partnership