Monday, 26 May 2014

An artist learns a valuable lesson in red tape and corporate elitism

Okay, I’m giving myself twenty minutes to write this, because, let’s face it, I’ve already wasted enough time on this venture so far. This morning I received an email asking me to contact the building where I had installed my work in the foyer on Sunday. I called my contact, and was rendered absolutely speechless when she asked if I could possibly remove it ASAP as there had been complaints from some of the ‘high level’ tenants. Apparently they deemed it unsuitable for an ‘A Grade Building’, and that it was not fitting for the corporate image. No shit, Sherlock – it’s wearable art! Well spotted - it’s trying desperately NOT to be corporate! It is the same wearable art that has been on the stage as finalists in the World of WearableArt in New Zealand. One of the garments
spent a month in the foyer of the Intercontinental Hotel in Wellington – certainly an environment which I would consider to be far more sophisticated, luxurious, and ‘A Grade’ than the barren and mediocre foyer of Central Plaza II. Well, I could continue in that vein, but I’ll move on…

After my initial reaction of hurt and dismay, I swiftly became enraged. Enraged at the waste of my time. Enraged at the fact that I had done everything required of me – submitted an application, signed a lease agreement, done their ridiculous 8 page OH&S document and spent $200 on $20K Public Liability Insurance. Jones Lang LaSalle knew exactly what I was supplying them, and it was approved. Enraged that one or two of their ‘high level’ tenants gets to call the shots for everybody in that building and that all of that oh-so-essential paperwork gets swept aside in an hour?! I am saddened that one or two people who are obviously very sheltered from the arts couldn't open their minds for one week, and have the power to deny this display to all the people who might have enjoyed it. I saw many interested looks as I was de-installing, and reports were that people were interested, and were reading the support material.

The big lesson I have learned is not to get so caught up in completing submissions and documentation and everything else required by a third party, without requiring a few guarantees myself!


  1. Boy, that is ridiculous alright!!!! I am angry for you! I loved the 'out of the usual' piece of interest (and amazing talent!!).
    Lots more I would like to say...but best not. :S

  2. The world is full of 'those' sorts of people unfortunately. So disappointing for you. If the people are that narrow minded clearly your work is too good to be displayed somewhere like that.