The View from Hoad column 
in The Citizen newspaper

23rd September 2015

The life of an artist may appear frivolous to those in proper jobs, but while I can't deny it's a privilege to be able to pursue my creativity, it's hard work in its own way.  We aren't blessed with a talent that allows us to simply produce beautiful things; we do have to work at it.  It's a craft which requires planning, long hours of labour (which, if we dared to do the sums would probably put most artists far below the minimum wage) persistence in the face of criticism and rejection and the stamina to go back and do it better.

In the light of this, the white figures which appeared on Tank Square roundabout this month were a tremendous gift to Ulverston.  They surprised and delighted so many people and judging by the response on social media, much further afield too.  I'm sometimes asked, “What is the point of art?”  That's a big question, but for me, part of the answer lies in the Loki sculptures.  I believe art exists to surprise and delight.  To show us the extraordinary in the ordinary and enhance the way we see the world. 

I can appreciate the time and work that went into this gift.  The hours of design, the physical making of the sculptures, the planning.  How did Loki manage to get that entire installation onto the roundabout without anyone seeing?  Setting the alarm for the middle of the night, creeping out of the house and carrying each figure across the street, one at a time.  All that work for what reward?  To surprise and delight.  And it did.

We were saddened to see the what had taken so many hours to create, destroyed in a thoughtless moment and the scupltures dismantled, but the initial impact and appreciation remain in our memories.   Thank you, Loki, whoever you are.  You represent all that is quirky and unique about Ulverston.  Long may you continue to surprise and delight.

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