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Moray MP Douglas Ross contacts police over 'offensive' Forres street art at Gallery Pop which spells out word 'porn' in large Scrabble letters

By Lorna Thompson

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MORAY'S MP has contacted police after receiving complaints from locals about a Forres gallery's street art which spells out the word "porn" in large Scrabble letters.

Gallery Pop has defended its new installation outside its building at 44 High Street, which artist Mark Creaney says explores the pervasiveness of pornography in modern-day society.

The gallery opened its first Members' Exhibition on Friday, October 8, to showcase work by Moray and Highland based artists.

The controversial exhibit consists of over-sized Scrabble tiles placed vertically, mimicking a road sign, to spell out the word "porn".

The artist said his work was not intended to be a pro-porn piece.

Douglas Ross MP, whose constituency office is based just along the street, said he had notified police after receiving complaints over the weekend from people who found the artwork to be offensive.

Mr Ross said: "Over the weekend I received several complaints from local residents about an offensive sign on the wall of the pop-up gallery in Forres.

"Given the number of people who got in touch, I contacted the person in charge at the gallery on Sunday and advised them of the complaints.

"I asked if planning permission had been sought for the sign and when I was advised that it had not been I informed them that I would be contacting Moray Council, asking them to look into the situation.

"I have also made Police Scotland aware of these complaints."

The artwork by Mark Creaney forming part of a Members' Exhibition at Gallery Pop in Forres.
The artwork by Mark Creaney forming part of a Members' Exhibition at Gallery Pop in Forres.

The gallery, opened by Georgina Porteous in June this year, is currently showing a range of work by 11 local artists.

She said the decision to install the Scrabble artwork on the exterior of the building was not taken lightly.

A statement issued yesterday by the gallery continued: "The piece containing four letters spelling the word 'porn', a shortened form of the word 'pornography', is intended to highlight how letters come together and create words which can create an emotional response.

"Art has always been contentious and a platform for discussion which often creates hostility as well as unity.

"Art is intended to open discussion and, in a society where we are always two clicks away from pornography, the installation is a platform to notice our response to this piece.

"The installation does not seek to formulate opinion – only to invite the audience to notice why they have the response they do."

The exhibition at Gallery Pop runs throughout October.

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