Thursday, July 23

Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service (Day 338)

Great day

1. Grateful to @speckles76 and Tanya for posting about the Whitecross street party - I missed it but it prompted me to go on and see the work.  I didn't get great photos but it was good to see them and I did get to see Louis Masai's new bee mural, which is always a favourite of mine.

2. I am grateful for the people I met today.  I have not actually met many people in street art or 'into' street art.  I am rather a loner and I prefer to look at art on my own - I've said this before.  I know that in art there is a whole 'scene' and I try very much to separate the act of viewing art from the socialising that goes with it.  I always try to see a piece of art without the artist there, if I'm seeing it for the first time...but then...that has meant that I've missed out on owning a piece of art because I didn't go to the opening.  I am happy to chat with strangers about a piece of art, but I don't like to have an ongoing relationship with them or to look at art with people with whom I have an ongoing relationship. 

I guess what it comes down to is that I find the experience of art to be of the moment and I like to keep it that way.

And I am guessing that I'm actually sounding a little eccentric and reclusive.  I am a writer, so I'm okay with that.

I am grateful though for the people I meet along the way and in the street, people are friendlier than in the gallery.  Today I met Ed, L-sria, and Cyril and we all had chats about the art.  What amused me was the age range of art fans.  L-sria was a 70+ year old woman from Turkey who knew a lot about street art.  I will never forget the juxtaposition of her dotty old woman clothes and wrinkled face saying "I like what Donk is doing these days".  More power to you.  The young forget that the old were once young and that the youth of today did not invent hip.  As someone middle aged, I kind of forget that I'm not young and I'm not old and I sometimes feel a bit awkward in both camps.  Having felt that I was not the person sp76 was expecting to meet (young hipster chick) and being embarrassed by being 50 and liking the art of the streets, it was refreshing to meet L-sria and be reminded that I started liking anarchistic street art with I, Braineater in Vancouver back in 1982.  I have always loved looking for the messages of the underground tribe on the walls around the world. 

Equally, I was delighted to meet Cyril who was laughing at how long I took to shoot everything on Whitecross street today.  I stopped at a pub to use the wifi and he came over and told me that I had inspired him to snap some photos.  Later, I returned to Whitecross street to find Louis' mural and he wondered if I had been there the whole afternoon (I had not) and laughed with me.  I took him to see the bee mural and I found it a little bit surreal to be standing there with yet another 60+ year old OAP talking about Masai with reference to Seurat. 

I never could have imagined I'd be standing here doing that, 5 years ago.

3. I am grateful to artists and the people of London who embrace the streets gallery concept.  It is one of the things that makes our city so great and up there with Berlin and New York for creating showcases for emerging artists in a tough art world.  As with all things luck as well as talent says who will get a break but artists create because they must create and - I suspect in street art - because its fun and there is a tribal sense of community among them.  Maybe that's wishful thinking on my part - maybe I am romanticizing it because I want a community of artists like that around me who nourish me and whom I can nourish in return - I am sure there is pettiness, backbiting and competition as well, but the street artists I've had the pleasure to become acquainted with are really decent human beings.

Joy - It was a joy to find Louis bees today.  I am indebted to @m_frenchie for the coordinates.

Oneness - The first time I saw the new mural by Louis Masai, I was agape in wonder at the beauty of his work and the power of his message.  I felt grateful for his dedication to the bees and for my own fortune in having met him and come to know his work.  I felt grateful for the experiences I have on the street and online with people who appreciate art and the vibrant, ever changing world of street art.  It gives me energy where I lack so much energy and it also gives me a sense of peace, as in the moment of looking at Louis' bees, I am able to connect with beauty and wonder.  Beauty and wonder takes me to a universal place where, I think, we would all like to be living from.

Service - Today I helped others find pieces of street art and to find their way into following others who were more knowledgeable about art and could help inspire them to continue to grow and learn more about the art and the artists and patronise the urban artists.

A photo from today....of course...Louis Masai's new bee mural for the Whitecross Street Party

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