In 16th-century England, the punishment for gross misdemeanours was to be hanged, drawn and quartered and then to have your head displayed, impaled upon a spike where other n’er-do-wells would heed the horrific warning as they went about their daily business. Might I suggest a similar fate for those present-day rapscallions, the journalists of Manchester who have displayed nothing but contempt for Thomas Heatherwick’s work and have stoked public disapproval. Now we have a pile of redundant spikes, what are we waiting for, me lads? Sharpen yer cutlasses, Deansgate awaits…
Alan Herron, Creative director, True North
I would never dare re-appropriate the work of any artist, which will always remain their intellectual property. Thomas Heatherwick is a very talented designer/artist/architect, and also an accomplished self-publicist. The message for us all in the under-represented world of design is to be wary of the media backlash when you become a celebrity by taking risks and pushing the envelope in such a prominent way.
Peter Higgins, Creative director, Land Design Studio
Manchester City Council should reverse its decision and re-erect the sculpture at a site that is highly visible, but not necessarily accessible to the public. I understand that the engineer who worked on the original design was, ironically, the same one who solved the wobbly Millennium Bridge, so why not seek his expertise in rectifying the problems with the B of the Bang? I believe that, with willpower, determination, optimism, and enthusiasm – qualities required by clients in the commissioning of any public artwork – together with a relatively modest amount of extra funding, it could still work. If not, Thomas Heatherwick should be offered the materials to create a revised work elsewhere for another client. Any fair contract would have allowed for this eventuality.
Vivien Lovell, Director, Modus Operandi Art Consultants
I think it should be recycled into a giant V- sign to wave at all the naysaying council Nazis who think brave pieces of public art come cheap and then express surprise and outrage when the cheap option causes problems.
Duncan Slater, Business development director, Origin