Saturday, February 17, 2007
Beauty in a forgotten place
Back alley art
London, Ontario, February 2007
I've written about London's murals previously (see here). I don't quite know why there are so many of them in our burg, but I'm glad that folks have taken the time to paint them. They brighten our world and force us to think about our own contributions to its beauty. Or at least they should.
I particularly love our murals - and I say "our" because, frankly, public art really is a collective thing - because they're often found in otherwise forgotten, forlorn places: Parking lots, loading zones, alleys, anywhere you would find a sad-looking concrete-block wall.
And so it was as I walked past this alley less than a block away from my office. I was doing my best to keep my fingers warm in the -30C chill. The wind cut through my coat as I thought how depressing this environment was. Everything looked gray, featureless, bleak.
Then I spotted this colorful landscape. And I was once again able to see colors, to feel some warmth. A thin layer of paint on a forgettable surface had managed to transform my mood.
To the unknown artists who shared their vision in a decidedly unconventional place, thank you.
Your turn: Can public displays of art improve our well-being? Can they improve your well-being?