Why bother?

I think most people know that I’ve been involved in the Weston art ‘scene’, such as it is. Today I really wonder why the fuck I’ve bothered.

This comes as two bits of news came about. First, something I knew already, that the donkey trail thing is a massive flop. There’s no tagging or vandalism as they’d feared. Nope. Weston’s form of vandalism is to smash stuff, steal stuff, destroy stuff. Donkeys have already been maimed before the one that has lived in our house for the past few months even sees the outside world.

Second, something I was waiting for. News that the Council had cleaned up ‘graffiti’ on the Tropicana. After organising a day of some great artists painting the fucker, with the Council’s blessing, they’ve come in this summer and cleaned it. They’d told me they were putting hoarding around it and that their offer to let it be repainted this summer was being rescinded. But there was that little glimmer that behind the fence, there would still be artwork, preserved almost as it was the day it went up last summer. But no. No chance in Weston.

Over the past few days, I’ve gone back and forth over my feelings towards this town and art in general. Now I’m settling firmly in a why fucking bother mode of thinking. Why fucking bother trying to make this town anything other than the cesspool it is? Why fucking bother trying to integrate any sort of arts program into the town?

I feel bad for the people who have been tasked with the Wonders of Weston project. They’ve come in hoping to make a difference and all they’re going to find is a bunch of legless, tailless donkeys, covered in the urine of junkies, and a council that can’t give two fucks about the town, let alone art.

Bitter? Maybe. But fuck it. Why waste time on a place like this? Why try to make it look a bit better. Maybe it’s time to fuck it off and quit trying to do things the right way. Maybe it’s time to just open the floodgates. Maybe it’s time for people to realise that this craphole of a town has a lot of blank walls and very few cops or cameras. Maybe it’s time for people to realise that the cameras there are don’t do a damn thing (one of the maimed donkeys, painted by local children, was placed right under a camera the whole time).

Maybe Weston, and its esteemed councillors who a few months ago were meeting with us to arrange for permanent murals and multiple paint jams at the Helicopter Museum of which they’re trustees and who are now quoted in the paper saying that the whitewash of the ‘graffiti’ is an improvement, needs to find out what graffiti really looks like.

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About jeninher30s

A writer and procrastinator.

6 responses to “Why bother?”

  1. viv kennedy says :

    It’s always mattered to me that I’m a Westonian, as was my Dad, and as are all 3 of my children, I fought for them to actually be born in the town so they could truly be Westonians born and bred. However it’s getting harder and harder to be proud of my hometown as old parts are allowed to fall into disrepair and new additions never seem to be fully thought through. It must be soul destroying to be part of something that’s aiming to do good for the town and to have your efforts thrown back into your face. I’ve seen how hard Adam has worked on his donkey and if I was him I would be pretty reluctant to send it out to make it’s way in the big wide world. If it’s damaged or stolen there will be screars, and that will just be from me. Please don’t give up though, this town is full of people like me, people who moan and comment but who don’t actually do anything to help make the town better, we need the people like you that do at least try to fight the negativity.

    • Myk says :

      Why not go and have a word with the Pier owners and see if you can fix something up with them? These guys are going forward and in fact, they’ve done more for the future of WSM in the last year or so than the local council have done in decades.

      I’d love to see your work on the new pier somewhere……maybe use it to raise funds for charity as well as promoting yourself and your work.

      • jmb252 says :

        Unfortunately the Pier owners, Kerry and Michelle Michael, want nothing to do with art. The donkey trail (which is sponsored by the Pier, the Council, and local businesses) is about as far as they’ll go.

        When they needed to have a new design put on their hoarding, they weren’t interested in having artists paint it for free. They put a big thing out asking for suggestions and — lo and behold — they went with the suggestion of putting up information advertising the attractions that we’d get to enjoy on the brand new Grand Pier.

        Unless it’s doing something to increase the value of their next arson insurance claim, they don’t give a fuck about this place.

  2. Myk says :

    I don’t know the facts about what goes on in Weston so I only speak as an outsider looking in. I do remember having similar problems when trying to sell my canal art on the waterways around Bath…..the council over there didn’t want the ‘little man’ to share the riches, even though I’d been a volunteer for many years helping to restore the bloody canal to it’s former glory.

    Weston could be (should be) one of the better places to live in the West Country and it’s real shame that the council won’t let some the ‘positive’ people living there help them to achieve this goal.

    • jmb252 says :

      I think that’s the most frustrating thing about it. This place could be a good town for all of it. There are some really good artists who live here, have lived here, or have family here.

      It goes beyond visual art, too. The Museum, Playhouse, and Blakehay are all horribly mismanaged, but nobody in power has the balls to say it and shake things up. Instead they just talk about closing it all. (Because with all the empty shops here, that’s just what the town needs!)

      We’ve been trying to get things moving since we came here a few years back, and every attempt seems to get shat on by some one of the powers that be around here. It’s silly, really, but without a fuckload of money behind a project (the only way to get the council and most businesses to support anything local), there’s a massive brick wall that always manages to get hit.

      • Keith Ramsey says :

        Despite everything, I am still optimistic about Weston, although less so than I was an hour ago before I found out about this.

        There are signs that the place is slowly beginning to pull itself out of the mire that it’s been in since the early 90s, but I think that the only way we can expect to make any real improvement is through the efforts of the people of the town.

        It would be good to have the help of the authorities and local businesses, but we don’t seem to be able to rely on them.

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