So the unveiling of the ‘Spirit of Wallace’ aka ‘Freedom’ statue – a 13-tonne depiction of Mel Gibson as William Wallace in the film Braveheart – outside the home of Brechin City FC was always going to be subject to public comment.
“Absolutely fantastic,” said one Twitter user. If that had been the general reaction, the statue might have arrived relatively unnoticed.
However, it is probably fair to say that those expressing positive remarks about it were somewhat eclipsed, if not in number then in strength of feeling, by those taking the opposite view. In particular, the wag who proclaimed that the sculpture “of Cristiano Ronaldo at Madeira Airport has been surpassed in its awfulness by this Braveheart statue”.
But then, social media sometimes seems to be more fascinated by what it deems to be ‘bad’ art, than by works that inspire, move or delight us.
There are plenty of examples of eloquent and humorous denunciations of supposedly bad art, but when was the last time a wonderful painting or sculpture ‘went viral’? Perhaps this says something about human nature or social media’s effect on us.
That being said, we are all entitled to our opinion, so we will say that, we don’t think the sculpture is good, but not quite as bad as the Ronaldo one.
However, despite all the mockery, Brechin City has every right to feel proud of their statue if they want to be.