North West Wales

Art group ARC's Llanrwst pumpkin sculpture apology

Artist's impression of sculpture above Llanrwst
Image caption An artist's impression released by the group showing the pumpkin sculpture

A north Wales community art group has apologised after wrongly claiming that a plan for a giant pumpkin sculpture was the idea of a New York artist.

ARC denied it was a spoof but confirmed an artist it identified as Brooklyn-based Steven Brower was not involved.

A spokesman said it was a "big mistake" to link him to the plan and no-one from the group had checked.

The group also said it was no longer pursuing the pumpkin idea for Llanrwst in Conwy county.

Town mayor Christine Humphreys said she was glad the pumpkin suggestion had been dropped.

But Iwan Williams from ARC said despite the setback the idea for a piece of art in Gwydr Forest was still being looked into.

ARC says there is an artist behind the pumpkin idea, but insists that he does not want to be named, because of the adverse publicity.

"ARC made a big mistake in administration by putting his name [Steven Brower] to the plans for the pumpkin," said Mr Williams.

"The artist we named was not the one responsible for the idea, and the real artist does not want his name published," he added.

Mr Williams said the group apologised for what had happened.

"ARC is made up of volunteers and it appears one person used the wrong artist's name and linked it to the picture of the pumpkin," he said.

'Negative comments'

"We are to blame for not triple-checking the facts," he added.

In a statement, Mr Brower said the project had been "misattributed" to him.

The statement said that while had visited the Conwy Valley, he "never made a proposal to construct the pumpkin, and such a structure has no precedent in his work, thinking, or intentions".

"Furthermore, some negative comments have been made about yet another designer also called Steven Brower, who is not associated with this project in any way.

"The use of the internet to research this name has led to the confusion and no doubt will continue to thwart pursuit of facts in this case.

"In any event, it should be made clear and well understood that no Steven Browers, regardless of their national origin or present location, have anything to do with the Llanrwst pumpkin sculpture.

"I regret the confusion that this has caused, but was as much an unwitting participant as any of those who live in the area or came across the story in the media."

Despite this, the group said the publicity the pumpkin idea generated had got people discussing community art.

"We want to open it out now and ask people what they would like to see, rather than asking for reaction to one thing," Mr Williams said.

Ms Humphreys said she would prefer it if the group asked local people what they wanted to see.

She argued that a sculpture inside the woodland would not be a good location if the idea was to attract more visitors, as access was an issue.

"These are forestry roads we are talking about here, and when groups do put on performances up there now then mini-buses are put on to ferry people there," she said.

A better idea would be to concentrate any ideas in the town itself, she added.

"We need something which is relevant to the town, to the history, or maybe to a character from the town," she said.

"Thank goodness the pumpkin's gone," she added.

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