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Jamie Gillman’s Wooden Flowers Removed from Stokes Croft. Council Pleads Ignorance.

March 11, 2010

PRSC received three telephone calls from concerned residents around 9am this morning (March 1oth), informing us that the wooden flowers that had been made by Jamie Gillman and placed at the bottom of Stokes Croft and at the end of Dighton Street were being loaded into a van by Council Contractors.

PRSC attempted to find out what happened, and spoke to Tammy McNamara at BCC’s Street Scene Waste and Public  Protection Department. Tammy told us that there had been no complaints from the Public, that the Highways Department had been consulted, and were happy that the sculptures were not causing an obstruction. We were told that BCC had not asked their contractors to remove them.

However, Hannah Johnson an eyewitness, reports the following…

As I was cycling to work this morning (about 8.50) I stopped at the Dighton St traffic lights and noticed 2 men carefully removing the wooden flowers and putting them in the back of their flat bed truck. I went over and asked where they were taking them. They said the depot, and I enquired whether the artist would be able to get them back. They said yes. They said that they had been told to remove them (and the ones from Stokes Croft) because they were in the line of sight of drivers and were causing traffic issues. I think the flowers are great, and I said so to the men. They agreed with me, and also didn’t really see how the flowers would be causing problems, but were just doing what they’d been told to.

Unfortunately the questions I forgot to ask were:

  • Who they worked for (they were in uniform and I assumed they were council subcontractors)
  • The name of the person who had instructed them to remove the flowers
  • The name of the depot that the flowers were being taken to (they did say it, I think it began which a D or a B but I should have taken more notice).

Caroline Cross, a local resident, also confirmed that she had spoken to the contractors who admitted that they failed to understand the logic of removing these wooden sculptures, most of which had been on display since before Christmas.

If you wish to find out what happened to these disappearing flowers, we suggest you contact Bristol City Council. If you contact Jan Ormondroyd’s Office, she will be able to point you in the direction of the relevant department. Thus far, despite our best efforts, we have been unable to unravel the story.

Below: Jamie Gillman with his amazing dancing bear, which starred in the Wonder Club’s recent triumph, “A Lamentable Tragedy”.

Below: The two sites, now de-flowered…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 11:03 am

    Sounds like it may have been the police concerned about the vision reduction for cyclists and motorists…

    In any event, why not seek written permission for the placement of your art? I agree that this stuff is great, but if you just go putting it wherever, how long do you really expect it to stay there?

    This is an example of what upsets those that choose to abide by the laws of our society. We don’t live in a hippy commune and the PRSC shouldn’t be so arrogant as to assume that their own perceived ‘worthiness’ allows them to do whatever they like, and then bleat like a child when someone applies the law of the land.

    Chris – if you’d actually asked the owners of 5102 about your stencil then you may well not have ended up in court this Friday.

  2. March 11, 2010 3:55 pm

    A quick check with Highways and Neighbourhoods at Bristol City Council has not found anyone who admits to removing the excellent Jamie Gillman flowers. If I hear more I will let you know.

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