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Page last updated at 06:13 GMT, Friday, 17 September 2010 07:13 UK
Olympics challenged by Weymouth sculptor
By Zoe Kleinman
Reporter, BBC Dorset

"until it ends" sculpture
The sculpture is not intended as a protest, said the artist.

Weymouth artist Ed Jones has created a sculpture designed to raise questions about the long-term benefits of hosting the Olympic sailing events locally.

"Until it ends" is an electro-magnetic sculpture in the shape of a boat. When switched on it attracts metal objects.

Mr Jones said that the magnet represented the Olympics drawing people down to Weymouth and Portland.

Once it is switched off everything falls away again, reflecting his concerns for the area after the games.

Weymouth and Portland will host the Olympic and Paralympic sailing competitions when the games are held in the UK in 2012.

"I'm not anti-Olympics but in my opinion it's 'let's set up shop and do this amazing thing' - but it's not in the interests of everybody," explained Mr Jones.

"Yes, we're getting a new road and traffic lights but once the Olympics have finished will you get that surge of people down here or will you get the same as before?"'

'Elitist' sport?

The organisers of the games say that the National Sailing Academy will be able to use the bespoke facilities for "elite training, competition and community use" once the games have finished.

But Mr Jones said he wondered how many locals would actually benefit from it.

"Is sailing quite an elitist sport? Not a lot of the local people around here do a lot of sailing."

His sculpture is on display at the Brackenbury Centre in Weymouth until 26 September as part of the B-side multimedia festival.

Mr Jones hopes to find a more permanent home for it so that the magnet can remain switched on until the games begin in 2012.

"I think people have mixed feelings about the Olympics," said festival producer Sandy Wilderspin.

"It has bought a lot of attention and investment to the area. The B-side festival is happening as a result of the attention on Weymouth and Portland, we haven't got a public art gallery as such here. But the games are also an unknown quantity."




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