Art adapted...it's the skateboarder's return!

Echo: Welcome home - the Return statue in the shared spact outside Victoria Station has had a skateboard added Welcome home - the Return statue in the shared spact outside Victoria Station has had a skateboard added

A LANDMARK sculpture has been given a makeover in homage to the skateboarders who surround it.

The bronzed £50,000 sculpture, called the Return, has been fitted with a skateboard in keeping with the skaters who ride around it outside Southend Victoria railway station.

And whoever’s added the skateboard to Belgian sculptor Rene Julien’s creation has made a great impression as Southend Council plans to keep it for now.

A spokesman for the council said: “We know what an innovative and entrepreneurial place Southend is and this goes to prove it!

“Clearly some effort has gone into giving the bronze statue a modern take and shows what a vibrant cultural scene we have here in Southend and what talented artists we have.”

The spokesman added: “This has generated positive comments on social media and is clearly getting people to talk about art, which we think is great.

“While we will need to return the statue to its original state at some point, we intend to leave this new interpretation as it is, for now, and would be delighted to speak to the artists to see if we could work with them.”

The sculpture symbolises people returning home and, along with several benches, is all that brightens the otherwise barren expanse.

Colette Bailey, from Southend art group Metal, said the alterations to the artist’s original concept were acceptable as long as no harmwas done.

She said: “I certainly wouldn’t class it as vandalism.

I think public art will be appreciated, as long as it doesn’t damage the piece.

“That piece of land is occupied by skaters who look like they have taken delight in their public space.”

Comments (12)

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10:44am Fri 20 Jun 14

Howard Cháse says...

Leave the skateboard there. I think it looks good.
Leave the skateboard there. I think it looks good. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 17

11:59am Fri 20 Jun 14

MarcelloM says...

Grr, those pesky, lefty, art-school skateboarders are ruining our lovely town with their endless creativity!
Grr, those pesky, lefty, art-school skateboarders are ruining our lovely town with their endless creativity! MarcelloM
  • Score: 7

12:41pm Fri 20 Jun 14

jayman says...

awesome... I like it.
awesome... I like it. jayman
  • Score: 7

1:25pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Joe Clark says...

This is nothing more than a desecration of the statue.

Those that have supported it clearly have no respect for the artist who originally created the artwork.

People have not just failed the artist but also the town as a whole by supporting the action of those who carried out this pathetic action.
Artists who produce public art could now very well decide that Southend is not the place to exhibit as the very people who are supposed to look after their works (the council) seem to support those that have no respect for the works and it seems encourage defacing them.

Whilst no damage might have been caused the act of adding these nonsense elements you might as well go and stick an ipad in the hand of Auguste’s The Thinker or give Michelangelo’s David a mobile phone.

Artworks should be cherished in the way the artist presented.
This is nothing more than a desecration of the statue. Those that have supported it clearly have no respect for the artist who originally created the artwork. People have not just failed the artist but also the town as a whole by supporting the action of those who carried out this pathetic action. Artists who produce public art could now very well decide that Southend is not the place to exhibit as the very people who are supposed to look after their works (the council) seem to support those that have no respect for the works and it seems encourage defacing them. Whilst no damage might have been caused the act of adding these nonsense elements you might as well go and stick an ipad in the hand of Auguste’s The Thinker or give Michelangelo’s David a mobile phone. Artworks should be cherished in the way the artist presented. Joe Clark
  • Score: -21

1:35pm Fri 20 Jun 14

sesibollox says...

How about adding a long spliff, or a Stella beer to his right hand, which would add another dimension to diverse nature of the towns youth culture....
How about adding a long spliff, or a Stella beer to his right hand, which would add another dimension to diverse nature of the towns youth culture.... sesibollox
  • Score: 3

1:42pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Rachie says...

I'm not a massive fan of 'modern art' as a whole, however I DO like that one at the station. I don't think the skateboard detracts from it's beauty in any way and just gives it a quirky edge :)
I'm not a massive fan of 'modern art' as a whole, however I DO like that one at the station. I don't think the skateboard detracts from it's beauty in any way and just gives it a quirky edge :) Rachie
  • Score: 5

2:27pm Fri 20 Jun 14

emcee says...

The council have just given the green light for any member of the public to "adapt" any folly, statue or piece of artwork as they see fit and made it acceptable to do so.
If the council think this is acceptable why is it NOT acceptable for "artistic" graffiti? Because that is all this is, the defacement of public property. What if the council woke tomorrow morning and found the entire victoria gateway pedestrian area daubed in water soluble (ie washable/removable) paint or the city beach lighting pillars painted pink with yellow spots, all in the name of art? Just because something is artistic or clever does not mean it is right.
Also, even though it is "shared space", the skate boarders around that pedestrian zone can be a menace at times, causing pedestrians to contantly try to dodge them, and the council, through acceptance of this "alteration" have now intimated that skate boarders causing a hazard around these pedestrians is OK.
The council have just given the green light for any member of the public to "adapt" any folly, statue or piece of artwork as they see fit and made it acceptable to do so. If the council think this is acceptable why is it NOT acceptable for "artistic" graffiti? Because that is all this is, the defacement of public property. What if the council woke tomorrow morning and found the entire victoria gateway pedestrian area daubed in water soluble (ie washable/removable) paint or the city beach lighting pillars painted pink with yellow spots, all in the name of art? Just because something is artistic or clever does not mean it is right. Also, even though it is "shared space", the skate boarders around that pedestrian zone can be a menace at times, causing pedestrians to contantly try to dodge them, and the council, through acceptance of this "alteration" have now intimated that skate boarders causing a hazard around these pedestrians is OK. emcee
  • Score: -6

5:08pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

emcee wrote:
The council have just given the green light for any member of the public to "adapt" any folly, statue or piece of artwork as they see fit and made it acceptable to do so.
If the council think this is acceptable why is it NOT acceptable for "artistic" graffiti? Because that is all this is, the defacement of public property. What if the council woke tomorrow morning and found the entire victoria gateway pedestrian area daubed in water soluble (ie washable/removable) paint or the city beach lighting pillars painted pink with yellow spots, all in the name of art? Just because something is artistic or clever does not mean it is right.
Also, even though it is "shared space", the skate boarders around that pedestrian zone can be a menace at times, causing pedestrians to contantly try to dodge them, and the council, through acceptance of this "alteration" have now intimated that skate boarders causing a hazard around these pedestrians is OK.
Im planning my bit for queenie victoria, as she looks as if she could do with a new look...
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: The council have just given the green light for any member of the public to "adapt" any folly, statue or piece of artwork as they see fit and made it acceptable to do so. If the council think this is acceptable why is it NOT acceptable for "artistic" graffiti? Because that is all this is, the defacement of public property. What if the council woke tomorrow morning and found the entire victoria gateway pedestrian area daubed in water soluble (ie washable/removable) paint or the city beach lighting pillars painted pink with yellow spots, all in the name of art? Just because something is artistic or clever does not mean it is right. Also, even though it is "shared space", the skate boarders around that pedestrian zone can be a menace at times, causing pedestrians to contantly try to dodge them, and the council, through acceptance of this "alteration" have now intimated that skate boarders causing a hazard around these pedestrians is OK.[/p][/quote]Im planning my bit for queenie victoria, as she looks as if she could do with a new look... Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 3

6:51pm Fri 20 Jun 14

Joe Clark says...

This is one almighty failure by the new council I hope they make a public apology to Rene Julien if he does not agree with what has been done to his sculpture, have they even told him of what has happened?
This is one almighty failure by the new council I hope they make a public apology to Rene Julien if he does not agree with what has been done to his sculpture, have they even told him of what has happened? Joe Clark
  • Score: -7

10:44pm Fri 20 Jun 14

SouthendWanderer says...

Joe Clark wrote:
This is nothing more than a desecration of the statue.

Those that have supported it clearly have no respect for the artist who originally created the artwork.

People have not just failed the artist but also the town as a whole by supporting the action of those who carried out this pathetic action.
Artists who produce public art could now very well decide that Southend is not the place to exhibit as the very people who are supposed to look after their works (the council) seem to support those that have no respect for the works and it seems encourage defacing them.

Whilst no damage might have been caused the act of adding these nonsense elements you might as well go and stick an ipad in the hand of Auguste’s The Thinker or give Michelangelo’s David a mobile phone.

Artworks should be cherished in the way the artist presented.
What at load of rubbish. The current statue belongs in communist Russia times - it's awful and depressing. Good on whoever added the skateboard. The Belgian 'so called' sculptor must be laughing all the way to Bruges over the fat cheque he collected. I've sneezed better looking artwork.
[quote][p][bold]Joe Clark[/bold] wrote: This is nothing more than a desecration of the statue. Those that have supported it clearly have no respect for the artist who originally created the artwork. People have not just failed the artist but also the town as a whole by supporting the action of those who carried out this pathetic action. Artists who produce public art could now very well decide that Southend is not the place to exhibit as the very people who are supposed to look after their works (the council) seem to support those that have no respect for the works and it seems encourage defacing them. Whilst no damage might have been caused the act of adding these nonsense elements you might as well go and stick an ipad in the hand of Auguste’s The Thinker or give Michelangelo’s David a mobile phone. Artworks should be cherished in the way the artist presented.[/p][/quote]What at load of rubbish. The current statue belongs in communist Russia times - it's awful and depressing. Good on whoever added the skateboard. The Belgian 'so called' sculptor must be laughing all the way to Bruges over the fat cheque he collected. I've sneezed better looking artwork. SouthendWanderer
  • Score: 2

10:55pm Fri 20 Jun 14

jayman says...

Joe Clark wrote:
This is one almighty failure by the new council I hope they make a public apology to Rene Julien if he does not agree with what has been done to his sculpture, have they even told him of what has happened?
Define failure... Art has no meaning. that's the real point of it.. Anyway, joe has a pomfrit on his clavicle because he is not 'down with the kids' and knows nothing about art and public ownership.
[quote][p][bold]Joe Clark[/bold] wrote: This is one almighty failure by the new council I hope they make a public apology to Rene Julien if he does not agree with what has been done to his sculpture, have they even told him of what has happened?[/p][/quote]Define failure... Art has no meaning. that's the real point of it.. Anyway, joe has a pomfrit on his clavicle because he is not 'down with the kids' and knows nothing about art and public ownership. jayman
  • Score: 1

1:54pm Mon 23 Jun 14

aj_photoimagery says...

http://aaronjennings
.smugmug.com/Freelan
ce/i-GhCKJh9/A
http://aaronjennings .smugmug.com/Freelan ce/i-GhCKJh9/A aj_photoimagery
  • Score: 1

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