What inspires graffitti ‘artists’ / street artists.

I don’t know for certain, I imagine as with lots of things it is different for different people. I can understand the desire to create / leave your mark / express your self. Not all people who are artistic / who want to express themselves can make a living from their art. Like people who may want to express themselves writing may, write a blog rather than earn a living out of it.

Who has not written their name or a message on a misty window / mirror, in sand or snow? As parents know, children seem to be born with a desire to write on walls, floors and tables rather than paper so maybe we are all born with the gumption to be a graffiti  artist? But some of us grow up or do not dare?

Perhaps we all have it in our genes the urge to write on walls. As this great blog post I read, points out there is evidence of cave  painting and hyreglyphics in Egyptian tombs.

A fascinating post (not mine) about street art.

Writing on walls can be a powerful communication method. Wilkipedia credits the first modern graffiti artist as being Cornbread who as a student in 1967 wrote on walls in an attempt to get a girl’s attention. In Sheffield on a bridge, that is part of the Park Hill flats the sprayed message ‘I love you, will you marry me’  has been immortalised in lights.

Now a days with the internet is possible to get messages across to a large group of strangers; though posts electronic walls, tweets etc… In times gone by expressing political views or making statements about situations has been enabled by writing on walls such as John Lennon’s wall where peace messages were painted during times of communism and the Berlin wall.

Wonderwall: John Lennon Wall Prague

Wonderwalls: Berlin

Despite  enhanced mass communications methods street art can still be used to highlight topical issue /  points of views.

Women’s rights street art

Global warming street art

https://www.timeout.com/london/blog/a-new-piece-of-la-la-land-inspired-street-art-shows-theresa-may-and-donald-trump-dancing-together-021717

Some art pieces need a large space and walls provide that space.

Some would argue those who spraypaint their ‘tag’ albeit that it may be a moniker rather than actual name reflecting the risks of tagging illicitly; are not so artistic. Perhaps taggers have different aims.

A quote from the following article (also linked above):

A fascinating post (not mine) about street art.

The article above also speculates the thrill that the taggers get from the process; the cat and mouse game with police. Then there are so called heaven spots, which is where tags are painted in difficult to reach places. it can be a wonder when you spot some colour , high up on a building; how on earth it was painted. Indeed unfortunately  heaven spots are also so called because of the risk to life.

I also wonder whether taggers get a thrill seeing their tag everywhere. I have noticed the Nop tag everywhere in Sheffield and it did cause me to think what it meant,; therefore it has had some impact on myself. It has been suggested the nop tag stands for Norfolk park and it is a gang symbol and that it stands for Not for Profit.

Wonderwalls? NO:P
I also see the word Quiet and initials SCS around Sheffield.


A couple of times in the same writing, I have seen the message ‘keep it real’.


I see the colours and words but never the people creating. So what do I really know?

Wonderwalls: Berlin

In the 13th century Berlin was a city enclosed by a wall; to separate it from neighboring Colln. By 1730 Berlin had grown beyond the city walls. There were alterations to walls locations and purpose. Walls were used for the collection of taxes and were known Exercise walls. Within the walls were gates (tors in German). An iconic gate, that was part of these walls was the Brandberg gate. When the Berlin wall was erected in 1961,  was obscured behind the wall. Consequently in 1989 when the wall separating East and West Germany was demolished the gate was the backdrop to many media reports. Nowadays crossing the road from the Brandberg gate there is a metal strip that indicates where the wall ran; which shows how close the wall ran to the Brandberg gate.

Following the line of the wall, after 5minutes there is the Holocaust Memorial.

Another day to remember the holocaust and some places dedicated to remembering (Boston, Prague, Austwich, Laxton)

It seems very natural to walk through Brandberg gate from East to West and vice versa and indeed cross where the wall formally ran without even noticing; it would be oppressive if the wall topped with barbed wire was still present. Some parts of the wall have been preserved for prosperity including plain rather ugly concrete sections as a reminder of the oppression but also some have preserved with added artwork. I did not get much chance to view the artwork as at the time it was raining. This blog has captured some of the images on the wall.

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Wonderwall: Someone else’s thoughts on Berlin including mentions of the wall.

I sheltered from the rain in the Checkpoint Charlie museum which documents the attempts made to cross the wall. What I don’t have a clear understanding of having visited this cosmopolitan, vibrant city is what life was life for average people living either side of the wall.

 

 

Another day to remember the holocaust and some places dedicated to remembering (Boston, Prague, Austwich, Laxton)

Tomorrow is National Holocaust Memorial Day. 27th January marks the day that the largest concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberarted. Holocaust Memorial Day also remembers those affected by genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.  Of course, every day we should be observant about groups being victimized. At different times I have been to three holocaust memorials around the globe. I have been to Krakov in Poland but, could not seriously consider going to Austwich from there although it is theoretically possible, because it is a 3 – 4 hour round trip, just to get there and I did not have a whole day spare. I’m not sure I would have wanted to go, it seems a rather morbid activity and perhaps rather voyeuristc.

Appropriately the Holocaust memorial in Boston, Massachusetts is part of the Freedom trial which also. commemorates those denied freedom due to slavery. It features a line of six, tall glass towers. Each tower represents a major Nazi death camp: Majdanek, Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzec, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The glass is etched with 6 million random numbers to represent the 6million Jews in  concentration camps. You can walk in line through one tower to the next like a tunnel. At the bases of each tower steam rises, from the grate below, therefore it is very eerie to walk though and brings to mind walking into gas chambers.

More personal than the numbers on the Boston memorial, the walls of the Pinknova synagogue in Prague features handwritten names of the 78thousand Czech and Moravian victims. So many names and no the only details being, if known their data of birth and date of death; no information about them as a person. Although upstairs in the synagogue is an exhibition of Child Holocaust victims art, so the loss creativity can be seen. Downstairs I zoned in on someone who shared the same first name as me and I’m trying to find out more about her, which is not proving easy so far.


The Berlin memorial close to the Brandberg gate (which was once part of the the Berlin wal) features no lists of names or numbers. It is a collection of large square blocks of granite. It covers a relatively large area with most blocks been too high to see over as you walk though. Some of the paths roll like waves rather,than being flat. Therefore it feels a bit like being in a maze and disorirntated, whether this makes you think about about holocaust victims or taking pictures in a different location is debatable. I believe there is just one explanatory board on the site. The blocks darkness makes the place rather bleak.

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Upon realising I have not been to a Holocaust museum in the  I did a google search. I found there is National Holocaust Centre in Laxton near Newark, which features exhibits about the holocaust and outside a rose garden to contemplate in Additionally a Holocaust memorial for London is currently been designed, echoing the Freedom trial in Boston it will be displayed im Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Thames and Westminster; alongside monuments to suffragettes, abolishment of slavery and civic service.

The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘How can life go on’ i.e. after the genocide; something to consider today.

Names that I have photographed

Some of the many names on the wall of the Pinkadova Synagogue in Prague of Czech Republic. How to make sense of all the names? I would like to find out more about those who shared my name; any suggestions where to look?

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Rhod Gilbert’s autograph.

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Some familiar names that have caught my attention away from home (Berlin, Hong Kong, Prague).

 

Names — The Daily Post

 

Packing away Christmas decorations from around the world …

Realised I’m not sure where I bought this angel. Possible with the two yellow decorations in Poland.

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So took some photographs whilst remember of where I have collected baubles from and whilst I was doing it pictured the ones I have made from decoupage over happy evenings at Fired Earth.

Village in Poland 🇵🇱 during walking holiday.

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Definitely bought a couple in Krakov  🇵🇱 at end of walking holiday, was it these two?

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Budapest baubles; will not forget with these as they say Budapest on them!

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Berlin baubles which can also double as Easter decorations.

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Prague decorations.

Ready to be packed away with the decoupage stars I have made.

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The other baubles I have made.

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London themed decoupage baubles.

The rest of the baubles individually.