Farnham’s ‘golden cones’ in Riverside Walk have their supporters as well as their detractors. 

The set of 21 interactive spinning cones, called A Hand’s Turn, came in for a lot of criticism when they were installed in April 2023, criticism which has reignited thanks to a planning application to make them permanent.

Critics, among them local novelist Christi Daugherty, have panned the cones with Ms Daugherty calling them “too industrial for that bucolic location at the river's edge” (Herald, March 27).

Others have likened them to ‘dystopian traffic cones’, 'giant dunce hats’ and ‘Madonna’s bra’.

Fans, however, have rushed to their defence. Graham Mollart, who has been a committee member of Farnham Craft Town for more than a decade, described the cones as “a positive, and dramatic statement, showing all that we were looking to the future as well as celebrating, preserving and building on our art and craft history.”

Kim Cody, who lives near the installation, said: “Many do actually like it and enjoy interacting with it. Also the colour has matured to a delightful deep pewter which really resonates with the street lamps and the sunset.”

She called for Farnham to be “more open-minded and more supportive of fine art and its resident artists and less entrenched in so-called ‘Traditional’ taste and ideas.”

The cones have darkened during the past year but this was intentional. They were designed by artists Natalie Bradwell and Livia Spinolo to be “a sensory, tactile and interactive sculptural installation”. A nearby plaque invites people to: “Touch me, spin me, enjoy me, but do not climb on me”.

Graham Mollart appealed to the public to: “Maybe engage with your inner child, watch children, with the cones towering above them turning this interactive piece as they move through the pathway between them. Have a go yourself.”