Artist wins sort-of apology

ALANNAH MacTIERNAN has apologised to artist Matt McVeigh for not advising him earlier of Vincent city council’s decision to cancel his commission.

“The council stands by its decision,” Ms MacTiernan wrote in a message posted to the council’s website.

“But firstly, I apologise to Matthew that he was not advised of the council’s decision (which was made ‘in-camera’ because it involved assessments of artworks) prior to the minutes being released.

“Vincent’s CEO [John Giorgi] has advised me that was due to an administrative error.”

Mr McVeigh first learned he’d lost the commission—with the council deciding to spend $60,000 on a Chinese artist’s sculpture instead—from the Voice.

“We will, from time to time, look outside our own patch and add to the rich mix of art on our streets,” Ms MacTiernan said.

The big blue head by Ken Sealey, Mt Lawley’s arty seating and murals in Leederville, Angove Street and Beaufort had been done by locals.

In the past year art done by non-locals has included:

• German duo Reinigungsgesellschaft’s alternative street signs ($30,000);

• Eastern states artist Lucy Vader’s OMG outside McDonalds ($12,000);

• NSW’s Gillie and Marc, commissioned for the Dog and Rabbit on a Bike sculpture on Beaufort Street;

• Alexander Lotersztain designed the twig seating outside Hungry Jack’s.

Mr McVeigh’s friend and lawyer Leo Hartley sent a letter to the council alleging breach of contract for dumping Mr McVeigh’s design and asking it to sit down for a meeting to hash out the issues (Voice, April 27, 2013). He says Mr McVeigh’s first concept drawings had been a “preliminary design” to base the final work on. He was still working on the final piece when the council decided to terminate the commission.

Mr McVeigh says he’s yet to receive a response to the letter. Last week Vincent CEO John Giorgi told the Voice the council was seeking legal advice.

• LAST week’s front page photo of Chen Wen Ling’s sculpture Games was by Jarrad Seng. Check out his work at

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