Back The Player - letters of support

Letter to Kevin Storch

I was amazed to see on Look North that some residents did not like the carvings. They are delightful and a real pleasure to see. We take all our visitors from outside the area to view them and have sent photos and postcards of the Angel to all our friends. She has definitely put Marlborough Avenue on the map and the residents should be proud of her.

The more recent owl carvings are superb and we look forward to the forthcoming guitarplayer. Keep up the good work! - and if you ever need a tree to practise on you may use any in our garden!
Margaret J Davis (Mrs), North Ferriby

email to Kevin Storch

Yes, the guitar player sculpture should go ahead. More strings to your bow (not bow-saw!) or rather to your guitar. We do need more modern sculptures - of quality - I'm tired of the 'move about an old statue if we want a new one' mentality which seems to assume that there's a fixed limited number of statues which we can have.
Chris Ketchell, Hull

Letter to Chair of Avenues Residents Association
In response to the recent Newsletter (ed. A Crummay) I wish to confirm my support for the tree stump carving by Kevin Storch....I think his idea is good and it will take this unusual project further... the article is inaccurate in calling the sculpture a 'copy', the approach is one that is not unusual, where the existing theme is not copied but revisited in a new situation.

The main text of the piece in the Newsletter made me angry. It may just be that the drafting was careless but to say that Kevin had 'decided' to work without safety measures is also a misrepresentation. He is a competent professional, as you were able to see from the carving of 'Angel' last year and he had again organised a fully trained chainsaw operator to do the major cutting. In dealing with this issue so clumsily the article has not only done a disservice to Kevin but has implied disregard for the professionalism of sculptors in general.

The misrepresentation is made worse when local TV and press coverage showed the real issue to be that a number of people disliked the subject matter. The extent of these objections has not been made clear, nor has the relation of any objections to the original invitation, but it would have been far more honest and productive to have opened a debate around the issue before commissioning the work than to have blocked it later by other means. In any case to raise objections at the stage when work was at the point of starting is inexcusable. The carving was part of 'Art in the Open', as 'Angel' was last year, and would have contributed to efforts being made by professional artists to help in the development of a more lively culture in the city. The mishandling of the project shows the Avenues Residents Association in a poor light, and experience suggests that disruption of this kind is likely to put the tree stumps project in jeopardy and is likely to make it more difficult for anyone to secure funding in future.

I suggest the Newsletter needs to circulate a more accurate account of the business and should give Kevin some opportunity of response.
Martyn Chalk, Marlborough Avenue

Letter to Chair of Avenues Residents Association
I am writing as an Avenues resident of long standing and as a practising artist.

It is unfortunate that there is some confusion in the account given in the Avenues Newsletter (ed. A Crummay).

Kevin Storch did not decide 'to start work without safety precautions with regards to using a chainsaw in the avenue'. He was accompanied by a fully-qualified tree surgeon who possessed all the necessary licences to use a chainsaw, and was about to erect a safety barrier when he was interrupted in the work which it had been agreed that he should carry out. Kevin Storch is a well-known, experienced and highly professional artist and it is most unfortunate that his professionalism should have been questioned as it was in the Avenues Association article.

I would be very happy to have a tribute to Lipchitz near my house, and very happy to have Kevin Storch, who last year made the much-appreciated 'Angel', make the sculpture. Lipchitz was a great artist, a pioneer of the challenging art of cubist sculpture, an associate of Picasso, Soutine, Modigliani and Rivera. Fittingly, his life began at about the same time as many of the Avenues houses were being built.

Our houses betoken the lives and memories of the people who have lived in them, contain and continue the lives of those who live in them now, and will carry traces of our lives into the future. In some ways, this parallels the mingling of the mundane and the extraordinary which occurs in art and enables it to make its contribution to human culture. Lipchitz spoke of art as 'a kind of desire to fight against death. Love is that too ... And there comes a time when you feel this continuity, this immortality of art ...' What a contrast with the objections that have been raised to Kevin Storch's proposed sculpture.

And, after all, it is only a sculpture. We can always chop it down (with the correct safety licences in place) if we don't like it.
Flick Lawes, Park Avenue

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