The Wales on Line Columnist David James may well be playing Devil's Advocate here but his
Five things to think about before you get too angry about the Iron Ring sculptureNeeds answering.
The anger of the 9,000 people who signed a petition against it has led the Welsh Government to put the plans on pause while it considers what to do .
Yet without wishing to question the anger of people who see it as a glorification of the oppression of their ancestors there are other ways to look at what the architect describes as a "precarious balanced form, half buried beneath the ground, half projecting into the air, [which] demonstrates the unstable nature of the Crown" .
He continues here are a just a few questions to think about.
Do we really want to echo the Victorians and use public art as selective way of glorifying a far more complicated present and past?
All public art doesn’t have to be seen as glorification. Putting a statue of Nelson on top of a column, or a bronze of Winston Churchill on an imposing plinth in Parliament Square, might be an explicit attempt to raise of a man to godlike status. But all art is not like that.Well this a point a sort of Yma O Hyd argument, But that assumes that those visitors would be aware this and not just see the glorification of the English Castles and the conquest. I doubt that those seeing this will be that subtle,
The bullet marks preserved in the walls at Jallianwala Bagh next to the memorial to the people massacred by the English Colonel Reginald Dyer in the Indian border city of Amritsar are anything but glorification.
Is the rusted, semi-buried ring proposed for Flint so self-evidently a glorification?
Or might it perhaps be better seen as an ambiguous, tarnished reminder of a history that can be remembered as bloody ambition, fatal failure, triumph, oppression, power and fragility all at the same time.
If we were to solely use public art to glorify history, would that be a nation you wanted to live in?
There have been lots of leaders who like to use public art to glorify history.Again he has a point but his he really arguing that a Welsh Monument to Owain Glyndwr would be the equivalent to Fascist art?
Mussolini was a big fan of celebrating the brutal conquest of Ethiopia.
Chairman Mao obliterated much of China’s history but did he did like constructing grand buildings in Beijing to glorify his revolution.
Hitler painted soppy whimsical portraits of grand German buildings and landscapes.
Stalin liked art that glorified the state and helped people realise that the suffering they endured was for a grander purpose.
None of them were fans of public art that contrasted with their images of themselves and their nation.
It takes a open nation with confidence and bravery to authorise public art that poses difficult questions about its history
There are examples of this everywhere. Berlin has a holocaust memorial, America has Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial.Again true , but these are explicit to the gadgetry and that nation culpability in this , the Iron Ring proposal celebrating our subjugation does not fall into this category.
Could we in fact see Flint’s rusted ring as much as a memorial as a monument?
The glory of art surely is that it defies labels. The twisted crown sculpture proposed can be seen as we chose it.
Its triumph is that it makes us think.
Everyone’s saying countries don’t erect monuments to their conquest... but they do
If you were to go to Battle (unsurprisingly where the Battle of Hastings happened), you’d find a steel sculpture of a Norman soldier on horseback being attacked by lone Saxon.
If an English nationalist was minded to, they could see this as a monument to Norman oppression - or what was called the Norman yoke during a flourishing of English nationalism in the 17th Century.
The shaven-headed Normans, who imposed fairly tyrannical rule compared to the freedom of the Anglo-Saxon era, make pretty good villains if you’re minded to cast them in that role - rather than to see them as an indelible and important part of the history of these islands.
There are also many stone and bronze statues to William the Conqueror, whose conquest killed more than 10,000 at the Battle of Hastings.
Are there any English people who regard the Norman Conquest as a tragedy for their Independence and bewail the loss of Anglo Saxon England?
Is the Iron Ring therefore an insulting monument to oppression - or is it just art?
Surely to limit art to statues to people like Owain Glyndwr, Hywel Dda, Tasker Watkins, Gareth Edwards, Fred Keenor and Gareth Bale would be to present a very selective public face of Welsh history.
A twisted crown echoing the Game of Thrones might even be seen as a clever way of inspiring the young people of Wales to find out about their own history and how it fits into the stories of these islands and Europe as a whole.
That story is often far from glorious. But it is surely a story worth understanding in its entirety rather than as a selectively-remembered narrative that ignores centuries when they don’t suit..
Well the artistic merit of the Iron Ring is not so easy to discuss it what it represents that it is the real problem
According to Gormley, the significance of The Angel of the North l was three-fold: first, to signify that beneath the site of its construction, coal miners worked for two centuries; second, to grasp the transition .
I doubt very few who view thus structure will be aware of the artists intentions . But if the Iron Ring was ever to come to fruition many of us will
and not be impressed , even if like the early critics of Gomley's work come round to admiring the work itself .
David James may as I said be playing Devil Argument here , but it is easy to dismiss his argument and that is why this insult should never be built.