united Life divided centered scattered love hate
defeated resilient failure success rebirth decay black white
rise fall messy colorful is tragedy triumph lost found joyful
sad order chaos beaten overcome acceptance rejection
inspired blocked full connected isolated art scribble play
work nonsensical meaningful life death of bold meek  light  shadow
determined apathetic alive asleep creative  bored  alone surrounded
free trapped trust deceit graffiti winter summer believe

* * *

South Bank Skate Park, London, June 2011, c.b.w.

–  – –

c.b. 2012


39 thoughts on “Kaleidoscope

  1. Although a lot of graffiti is merely crude destruction of property, some can be works of art. I love the way you wove your words, which so beautifully illustrate the essence of the photo. 🙂


    • Normally, I can’t stand graffiti (my house has been tagged a couple of times – its so irritating), but in this instance I was intrigued. The skate park is a spot where graffiti is legal and therefore the place is painted solid. I suppose it helps to curb graffiti in places where they don’t want it along the South Bank. It seems to be working because I hardly saw any in that whole area, except in the skate park.


      • My city has an inner-city art program to get kids off the street and giving them tools to focus their creative energy on legally accepted projects. The city also invites those would-be taggers to submit ideas for wall murals to be painted on the sides of buildings around the city and get paid for it. Actually, talking about this has inspired my next post, if you don’t mind me sharing yours. 🙂


    • I have a lot of little taggers sitting in my classroom and to keep them from defacing the desks, I’ll give them a piece of paper and tell them to make something to add to my gallery (as long as there’s no gang representation), which I keep in one section of my classroom just for student art. They really do have some talent – if only they’d pursue it in a more positive way.


    • I look at this particular location as something that probably saves the surrounding area from random defacement. It makes me wonder how much of the problem would be solved if neighborhoods provided a space for graffiti artists to ply their trade. I’ve never fully understood the need to spray paint public walls or private property, but obviously its a problem. Perhaps a need to vent, rant, or feel important . . . I don’t know.

      I found the skate park to be fascinating from the standpoint of color, but I’m glad its confined to this one spot rather than all over the rest of the South Bank walkway. 😉


  2. I like this! Love the opposites, the duality-destruction or art? Legal or illegal? Makes this yogi question why something has to be labeled; if there is a “good”, then there must be a “bad”. Why can’t things just be?


    • Oooo, I like that concept. All I know is I was totally mesmerized by the color. It literally surrounds you and swallows you whole. And it’s always changing . . . perspective, new paint, and angle make it difference place each day. Kind of like how life changes almost constantly.


  3. What a poetic way of finding good in this type of expression. I don’t find graffiti very appealing but I am glad when those who do have a place to express themselves. I don’t see a lot of art that hangs in galleries appealing either and yet those people are accepted as being artists. It goes back to that old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. It’s the ‘where’ not the ‘what’ that is destructive. Wonder if cave men scolded their children for writing on the walls.


    • That old saying is spot on! I don’t condone defacing property, but I can see the creativity in street art. Its not my style by any means, but it does reflect what goes on inside of someone else. In a setting like this, where no one’s property is being violated, its easier to see that and even appreciate this mode of expression.


  4. I see graffiti – a wall as a palimpsest – and I wonder “Who decides?”

    Here in Dundee our graffiti has a minimalist feel. there is a low wall near Riverside Drive which occasionally gets repainted, but the graffiti re-migrates, like seaweed washed up at the high tide mark. There is a series of nightmare faces with the paint running like drool or blood. There are obscure puns on the sub-culture of casual graffiti itself: “Potassium Exthoxide Rules C2H5OK”. There are fragments that leave me wondering: “who are torn apart”.


    • I wonder the same thing – some of the images that show up on these walls are direct representations of how someone feels. I can’t imagine an existence with that much pain and sometimes I think spray paint is the only voice they have. I don’t like it on the side of my house, but I do wonder what drives them to do it.


      • There is no room
        it is a collide-o-scope
        instantly dirty.

        Its archaeology
        takes careful lifting.

        Each tag effaces
        and once in a while
        a guy with a hi-viz jacket
        a mask
        and a hard-hat
        sprays it all white.

        Each pain is
        it is a collide-o-scope
        we push each
        other aside.


  5. Opposites attract and Life is full of graffiti and noise and thoughts or things that inspire and the opposite, thoughts and things that distract. About the photo, there is beauty in the design and colors.


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