Humanising Southgate.

Southgate Place with car and tree.
Southgate Place with car and tree.

The ‘new’ classically enhanced shopping complex at Southgate might have made a commercial ‘nod’ in the direction of Bath’s Georgian past but nowhere was it part of the planning brief – it would seem – that something artistic should be done to humanize its empty spaces – especially where shopping avenues converge on Southgate Place.

Indeed – just recently – the only piece of public art – the Bath-stone torso of British swimmer Mark Foster – was moved away from the approaches to this modern mecca of a market place – to hide behind a wall at the City of Bath College.

Planting a tree in this space is great but can we hope to see something more permanent than the occasional new car promotion to soften and humanize this area.

Car promotion in Southgate Place
Car promotion in Southgate Place

Commercial sterilisation l call it.

In a city of running waters – both hot and cold – this would be an ideal spot for a fountain. I am amazed B&NES didn’t make the provision of public art part of the planning permission.

Southgate Place
Southgate Place

This is private land with security people to stop ‘visitors’ – aka shoppers – from chaining their bikes to railings or holding picnics on the paving slabs – so they could keep an eye on any interference with the installations.

I must say the sculptured torso suffered no damage that l am aware of during its brief sojourn nearby.

A contemporary fountain installation would be fine. A competition for artists maybe?

Just remember we are historically the city of Aqua Sulis – the waters of the goddess of health and wisdom.

Around our city are slogans extolling the virtues of water being ‘best’ – so why don’t we start celebrating the fact!

 

 

Tagged with: