A LEADING artist has expressed concerns about the future of a landmark water sculpture she designed for a public arts centre following its closure.
Angela Conner, whose installations can be found in cities around the world, designed the Threshold sculpture for the entrance of Darlington Arts Centre in 2007, after winning an Arts Council competition.
Six months after the closure of the arts centre due to Darlington Borough Council budget cuts, Ms Conner contacted The Northern Echo to publicly call on the authority to secure the future of the 18ft sculpture.
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The future of former arts centre building, which closed its doors to the public in July, is currently under discussion with developers - who have unveiled plans to create a hotel and restaurant with associated arts space at the site.
The Threshold sculpture was designed to welcome people to the entrance of the Vane Terrace building and is made up of 12 brushed stainless steel units.
The arms of the sculpture were originally designed to move, based on the changing weight of water in them, but Ms Conner claims the council ignored her installation instructions, meaning that it has never worked as intended.
The London-based artist said: “I have no financial interest in the sculpture but I feel for the people of Darlington that I have to try to secure this work for the town and get it working as it was meant to.
“I hope that people don’t judge its future on its current state – the people who installed it took no notice of my plans and used a tiny pump and placed the water tank miles away from the sculpture itself.
“It never ever was the way it was designed to be. It would be lovely to get it working properly.
“I just want to know what on earth is going on and what the future holds for the Threshold.”
In response, a Darlington Borough Council spokeswoman said: “The future of the Arts Centre site, including Threshold, is subject to ongoing discussion and as such no decisions have been made."