Kelso art ‘a monstrosity’

An online petition has attracted more than 120 signatures opposing the siting of Kelso’s first public artwork in The Square.

‘Kelsae’, a 20-tonne cobble-shaped block from India, was lowered into The Square in February when Maxton sculptor Jake Harvey, who won Sainsbury’s-funded £40,000 commission, started carving hand-written names of local places into it.

The petition describes Kelsae as a “severe detriment” and calls for it to be put elsewhere. Comments range from: “An absolute monstrosity” to “Good idea, but in the wrong place”. Some call it is a waste of money, others slam a lack of consultation and others suggest placing it at the roundabout near Sainbury’s.

Chairman of the Kelso Stakeholders’ Group, which chose the five finalists, Charlie Robertson, said: “The artwork is unfinished and there is a great deal of work going on in The Square at the moment. The time to judge it is when everything is finished, not just now.”

The designs went out to public consultation at the beginning of July for a mid-July winner announcement.

Community council vice-chairman Dean Weatherston said: “The consultation was flawed due to its short running period at the start of the school holidays, but once the work is completed I’m sure people will change their minds.”