Victor Pasmore's Peterlee Pavilion and the 'publicness' of public sculpture.

Paul Usherwood

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Abstract

Focusing on the particular case of Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion at Peterlee New Town in Co. Durham (completed 1970), this article looks at the problem of how to deal with a piece of public art once vandalism, officially sanctioned modifications and changes to the setting have begun to take their toll. Noting that public art is really only effective when it sparks public engagement and debate, it takes the unusual approach of looking methodically at the way different groups, both local and non-local, have responded to a specific piece over two decades and concludes that there are circumstances when, paradoxically, a piece of public art may be best served by being destroyed. It draws on primary research The article was developed from a paper delivered at the symposium, Model Forms, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, November 2002 which in turn was developed from an article, ‘Pasmore’s Pavilion at Peterlee’, Building Design, 9 November, 2001 It is part of Usherwood’s ongoing interest in issues connected with the meaning, function and physical care of public monuments which springs from research for the book Public Sculpture of North-East England (Usherwood, Beach and Morris, Liverpool University Press, 2000).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
JournalSculpture Journal
Volume8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002

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