The artists Margaret Tuckey and Scott Eames and their banned works from last year
Councillors adopted a “sensitive art policy” in May, stating the council had a duty of care to protect Civic Centre visitors from artwork “depicting images containing perceived violence, racism, sexism, nudity, blasphemy, cultural discrimination and other issues that may be seen to be discriminatory or offensive”. The policy also saw the creation of a panel comprising three members, three artists selected by the council and a council officer to assess controversial entries.
Only one painting, a full-frontal nude self-portrait of a woman lying on a couch, was referred to the panel before being accepted. Gully’s acting marketing manager Elissa Graves, who organised the art show and was also on the panel, said none of the nude entries were considered to be offensive although signs at the Civic Centre entrance would warn the public of nudity.
Ms Graves said the policy had never been intended as a blanket ban on nudity and the full-frontal self-portrait was “not lewd or provocative in any way”.
Don’t you love a rapid about face? noo we never intended to make nudes an issue- how could you think that of us? despite the fact that two very very discreet nudes were banned outright last year and the the council were acting all huffy earlier this year, equating nudes with violence, racism and sexism among other niceties.
I’m happy for Ms Tuckey that her work was better received this year, I am glad that the council has reversed their decision, but I would still like them to do something about the policy language. I would also like to see if they continue this practice in later years or if this is just something they will do while the cameras are on.