November 24, 2020 10.59 am This story is over 42 months old

Artist protests ‘Soviet-era airbrushing’ of Usher Gallery on Google Maps

The council doesn’t think it’s big deal though

A visual art installation in the former William Hill shop in Lincoln is questioning why Google Maps no longer labels the Usher Gallery site, with one artist describing it as a “second-rate attempt to rekindle Soviet-era airbrushing.”

The Showing Space gallery inside the vacant unit on Silver Street includes work by Graham Lewinton and Richard Devereux. A text piece is questioning “Where is the Usher? What is going on?”.

Richard, an artist who lives and works in Lincoln, told The Lincolnite it draws attention to a worrying development in the Usher Gallery saga.

The name label on Google Maps for The Collection museum says ‘The Collection. Modern archaeology museum & art gallery’. However, the Usher Gallery’s own tag appears to have disappeared.

A text piece in the gallery. | Photo: The Lincolnite

It continues by posing the question – “Where is the Usher? What is going on?”. | Photo: The Lincolnite

Richard told The Lincolnite: “Very recently I noticed Google Maps no longer carried The Usher Gallery ID tag.

“Considering the somewhat negative attitude the county council, under (council leader) Martin Hill, has shown towards any real culture in the city/county, this can only be viewed as nothing more than a rather second-rate attempt to rekindle Soviet-era airbrushing. Before very long will the whole building evaporate?”

It appears the Usher Gallery’s ID tag has disappeared. | Photo: Google Maps

William Mason, head of culture at the county council, said: “Since 2005, the Collection Museum and Usher Gallery have been marketed together as one visitor attraction under the banner – The Collection Art and Archaeology in Lincolnshire, to encourage visitors to visit both venues as they are right next door to each other.

“Even on the Google listing highlighted, it says ‘The Collection – purpose built museum and The Usher Gallery with works by Turner and Lowry’.

“As we’ve said previously, we have a bold and exciting vision for the future and very much hope the City of Lincoln’s Usher collection and building will be part of it.”

The ‘Showing Space’ gallery by Graham Lewinton. | Photo: The Lincolnite

The Usher Gallery continues to divide city and county councillors, as both sides refuse to move forward.

City of Lincoln Council said last month the county council refused its offer to house birth, death and marriage services at City Hall in a bid to retain the Usher, which is owned by the city council, as an art gallery.

In November, it was revealed that after unsuccessful negotiations with the county council over the future of the gallery, the city council decided to move all the art and artefacts to Nottingham for safe storage and preservation.