City defends change of art

City of Vincent Mayor Alannah MacTiernan.
City of Vincent Mayor Alannah MacTiernan.

The City was questioned when artist Matthew McVeigh said his contract had been wrongly terminated, after he was commissioned to produce a sculpture for the Percent for Art Scheme.

Ms MacTiernan said that designs presented by Mr McVeigh in February and March differed considerably from the original idea shown in August last year.

‘The Vincent Arts Advisory Group (AAG) considered that this revised version (in February) bore little resemblance to the original design, and did not capture its movement and energy,’ she said. ‘The City asked the artist re-submit a design closer to the original artwork… however, members of the AAG determined that this design still deviated substantially from the original proposed artwork and bore little resemblance to the commissioned piece.

‘Hence, it was recommended that the City not proceed.’

The commission was ended on March 26 and Vincent instead bought a bronze sculpture from Chinese artist Chen Wen Ling.

Mr McVeigh said that the termination was wrongful, stating that the original design was just an example of the artwork he could create.

‘What I sent them was just a quick model,’ he said.

‘There’s actually a clause in my contract which says the original work is an example of a preliminary design, then it mentions a design development period.

‘Usually in public art, you work through that process with someone such as an art advisor.’

Mr McVeigh said he would still like to go ahead with the commission and was waiting to hear back from the City.