For the first time, in as long as I can remember, I really did not know what I was going to blog about this week. It’s been a pleasant week but with nothing newsworthy happening in my world, by contrast the wider world has been filled with the kind of drama that is hard to make sense of, or ignore.
And although I have been deeply moved by such tragic events, I know that there is nothing I can directly do to change things, so instead I continue to involve myself in positive community projects that unite people. I have been thinking frequently about the existence of the blame culture, and how people have become so quick to judge others on such a large scale it is becoming infectious. Contrary to this I have been discussing with others what feels to us like the obvious rise in creativity and expression through art and music, which we explained as an antidote to our troubled society.
I read an article recently about two Muslim women in Afghanistan who both challenge cultural views of women and use their art as a way of confronting the difficulties of life in their county. Street art has always been something that has inspired me, from the technicolour ‘wild style’ graffiti of 80s New York, to the overtly political statements committed to building all over the globe by the ever elusive Banksy, spraycan art has always held a fascination for me, both in its motivation and execution.
A couple of months back I wrote a short article for The Beestonian magazine, an update on the Beeston Street Art project. I am not currently involved in this, other that showing my support on the facebook page and following with interest. The project was started by a group of beeston folk, and driven forward by Jeanie O’Shea, who has been collaborating with Sylvie Lam at Montana Shop Nottingham, to acquire submissions from local and international street artists. This is an exciting project for Beeston and will culminate in a week long festival in the Spring.
The project was borne out of desire improve the dated town centre. Beeston Square’s old 1960s dark walls badly need an aesthetic lift. The tram upheaval has left a central part of the town a concrete and mud jungle, since the demolition of the old bus station, and everyone who passes through gets treated to that eyesore daily. But more than that it’s about investing in the community and involving others in its regeneration.
I think this is why I would now like so much to be a part of it. I am certainly no street artist, although I did dabble as a teenager, and I am more predisposed to fashioning flowers out of retro fabrics these days, yet I am drawn to this project for more than just its vibrancy. It is the opportunity to engage the community that has ignited me more than anything. Beeston is a great town and is changing all the time. The tram brought with it mess, disruption and caused bad feeling amongst locals.
Businesses suffered whilst roads were closed and unsurprisingly a trace of deep-seated negativity remains. We didn’t ask for this nor can we change this but we do have to move on. Perhaps by building on the opportunities and a chance to alter the face of this busy suburb of Nottingham city and give it its own identity. Of course my interest in this project has nothing to do with the fact that the above mock up features bees!
So whilst I work out what my contribution to this positive community project will be I will leave you with this thought…
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Until next week
find your therapy