Spoof sculpture trail in West Yorkshire proves a hit

Leaflet promoting imaginary 'Colne Valley Sculpture Trail' showcases abandoned bath in field and collapsed wall

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The Independent Online

Could some badly-drawn graffiti on a rusty sign, an abandoned bathtub filled with dirt and a wall fragment really be part of a conceptual sculpture trail in the Colne Valley?

The leaflet features "artworks" including Impermanent Border by Angela Paradina (a badly constructed wooden fence), which claims she has "simultaneously subverted its implied permanence by its ramshackle and temporary appearance".

Bjorn Starstrup's Longitudinal Torsion with Radials (metal gate, barbed wire, stinging nettles) says his "exuberant and playful constructions take a straightforward object- in this case, 'a gate' - and warp and embellish it until it no longer fulfils its original function (i.e. 'a barrier which opens and closes'). In this process they are imbued with a simple fluidity which was innate, yet not expressed, in the original form.

"Here, the twists in the main section juxtapose the concepts of flow and rigidity, but the work also carries associations of pain, emphasised by the carefully tangled barbed wire and nettles."

Other works of note include Daniel Billing's Wash Behind The Ears (the aforementioned bathtub filled with dirt to the less artistically minded) and Karen Braithwaite's Untitled (Wall/Fall/Wall #12), a crumbling drystone wall where the central section has been demolished "with some violence".

"The resulting piece suggests a sense of bereavement, the turf above almost seeming to weep," adds the leaflet.

Even the most rigorous artistic theorist might suspect that this is a wind-up by now, and sadly they would be correct. But although the artists' names and titles may be fictitious, there's nothing to stop the "works" on the trail being taken as art, the leaflet's anonymous author suggested to the BBC:

"All of it is interesting to look at. Perhaps it could be called accidental art."

He or she added: "My favourite thing I came across was somebody's blog, which, as far as I can tell, showed that they had walked the trail believing the 'sculptures' to be genuine works of art.

"My advice to people is if they want to do the walk, do it asap because the 'sculptures' could disappear at any time.

"My dream would be to have a preservation order put on the lot of them."