independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Students to protest against 'vulgar' neon love sign at college

A FLASHING neon sign proclaiming love for Letterkenny is generating anything but love at the college where it is prominently displayed.

The controversial work of art which declares "I 'love' Letterkenny 'love' me" - with the red heart symbol for the word 'love' - has gone on display on an external wall at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology as part of its art scheme for new building developments.

But instead of creating a loving feeling and bringing a smile to the faces of stressed students, the piece of artwork, which cost ?20,000, is being maligned by both students and staff as harmful and vulgar and is prompting threats of demonstration from students.

¨Not many people are smiling about it. Students and staff have expressed their disappointment with this image which we believe does not fit into the mission statement of this college which is to further people's education," said Student Union president David Leonard.

¨I find it hard to comprehend the relationship between student education and this flashing neon light and in our view the funds have not been utilised well," he added,

Mr Leonard said that due to the strength of feeling the union would meet with class representatives with a view to staging a public demonstration.

Other objectors have likened it to an image more suitable to Amsterdam or even Bundoran.

The piece of art, which was selected following a commissioning process by an Arts Advisory Committee was one of two pieces which occupy prominent positions on the college campus.

Limerick-born artist, Tina O'Donnell who designed the piece, said that the image was intended to be "simple and positive".

"There's no hidden depth and it's not meant to be abstract. It's meant to be sympathetic to the people who are there and bring a smile to their faces," she said.

Director of LYIT, Paul Hannigan, who confirmed that no formal complaint had been received, stressed the selection process had been a representative one.

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