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My Newham: Artist Lothar Götz

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 December 2018

Good Relations

Artist Lothar Götz, who recently had a sculpture installed in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, about his passion for the borough and arts

What’s your connection with the borough?

I moved here straight out of art school in 2000, to Forest Gate, and immediately loved the area – for its friendliness and character. I’ve lived in that same house ever since.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

There are so many things! The connectivity is fantastic. We are so close to Liverpool Street, and the network of art galleries and studios that have grown up around there. Many of my friends live over there and it’s so easy to get to see them. Also, we are really spoilt for green spaces in Newham, and Epping Forest is right on our doorstep too.

What one thing would you change?

If I could change one thing, it would be bringing public art into the whole of the borough, not just the areas benefitting from new development. Having art feature in people’s lives is hugely beneficial for their wellbeing, and we should give more support and funding to artists so that their work can reach people more widely.

Use three words to describe the area.

Friendly, diverse and transforming.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

I was most fortunate to study under Professor Bazon Brock at the University of Wuppertal. He gave me the confidence to become an artist, and we are still in touch today.

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

We are seeing great changes recently to the position of art on educational curriculums. Increasingly it’s becoming side-lined, and I think this is a great worry. Art can teach us so much – from purely the freedom to be creative and experimental, to complex problem solving and looking at issues in different ways. If I were prime minister, I’d place art education firmly back on the school curriculum and make it accessible for all.

If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

Newham is a thoroughly diverse borough, that’s one if its great qualities, and it’s a diversity that exists in harmony. It’s also seen huge regenerational changes in the past 10, 20 years. It’s so important that regeneration is done in a fair and equal way, so that as many benefit from it as possible. Otherwise we are in real danger of disrupting the harmony that makes Newham such a great and friendly place to live.

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