Barrowford artist Philippe Handford had been set to create the 1,700ft wide temporary artwork to mark the 400th anniversary of the infamous witch trails (sic), which was intended to be ‘a defining image for Pendle’.
However, objections were raised by some Barley residents and the Bishop of Burnley also spoke out against the plans.
Pendle Council decided not to go ahead with plans to fund the £1,500 project.
I think they meant to end that sentence ‘…with money extorted from the poor long-suffering taxpayer.’ didn’t they?
The artist, poor darling, is quite put out:
Philippe said: “I still don’t know what the objections to the installation werefrom Barley Parish Council. Nobody has given me a specific reason.”“I do know that a number of them were actually supportive of the plan.”
Well, what politicians say to your face and what they actually do are often too very different things…
“I’ve had dozens of people telling me that they think the installation would be a great idea.”
Did they offer to sponsor it? Or did they just think it was a great idea if someone else did?
“I’m yet to meet somebody who doesn’t want the installation to happen and I’ve had significant support from a number of Pendle and Burnley based businesses.”
Oooh, businesses, eh? How much did they pony up?
What, nothing? Oh…
“The installation also had the support of the landowner, who was satisfied with the fact that I’ve tested the paint for Natural England, it is temporary and leaves no environmental damage to flora or fauna.”
He didn’t offer you any readies as well, did he?
Nick Hunt, creative director of Mid Pennine Arts, agreed that the work would have been beneficial to the area.He said: “There’s no doubt that the installation would have been a defining image for the Pendle Witch Festival and would have created a much bigger opportunity to communicate to a wider audience about the beauty of Pendle as a destination.
“A project like this can pay for itself many times over.”
It seems the people that might have bought into that decided not to take the gamble, though…
Philippe added that he was disappointed with the comments made by the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Revd John Goddard who said we shouldn’t be ‘celebrating’ the trialsand that the time ‘was a harrowing and awful experience for many people’.“We’re marking the anniversary, hoping it raises wider questions about intolerance and injustice, and we’re hoping to see the Pendle area positively promoted,” Philippe said.
‘Come to Pendle! We used to burn women because we thought they were witches!’
Yeah. As an advertising slogan, it needs more work.