Letchworth fountain art installation draws criticism from residents

Mario Borza's art installation on the central fountain in Letchworth GC has caused much debate

Mario Borza's art installation on the central fountain in Letchworth GC has caused much debate - Credit: Archant

An art installation that is part of a town-wide exhibition has drawn criticism from residents.

Since April 5, the central fountain on the Broadway in Letchworth GC, has been transformed by water specialist Mario Borza’s Three Spheres as part of the town’s A Vision of Utopia exhibition.

The red, yellow and green balls suspended on top of the fountain “reference both Ebeneezer Howard’s aversion to traffic and traffic jams and the UK’s first roundabout,” according to the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation website.

A Letchworth GC resident who wishes to remain anonymous said: “The iconic fountain in the centre of Letchworth has been reduced to a tacky eyesore.”

People took to Twitter to air their views with @Marlene_Gray posting: “The fountain now looks cheap and nasty.”


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While @judgedrudy tweeted: “This looks awful. Who decided this? Was there a meeting? I’m sure no-one liked this. Who paid for this installation?”

The installation has been created in a collaboration between the Heritage Foundation and Digswell Arts Trust

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Heritage Foundation creative producer Mark Prescott said: “When we first got together with Digswell Arts Trust we were all in agreement that we wanted to be ambitious and bold. A key concept was to place the work of our commissioned artists in important locations in the town. The fountain is certainly one of those.

“Mario Borza’s piece Three Spheres, coloured green, red, and amber respectively with its allusion to traffic lights, references both the first roundabout, Ebeneezer Howard’s strong views on traffic and also perhaps the idea that in a Utopia there would be no need for such instruments. Particularly at night with the jets, the spheres appear to float on the water. The piece certainly has a playful element.

“It has provoked lots of comment and debate both positive and negative. People have asked if it could be made permanent other people just want it removed. I hope for the most part that people have enjoyed perhaps a different perspective on this beautiful sight.

“If they have hated it, that’s also okay, the installation will be taken down from 15 May, but I hope they would be open-minded enough to support experimentation, change and creative activity.”

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