The urban environment can be noisy, dirty, artless and unfriendly. But these images from Seattle suggest that there can also be whimsy and artfulness if you look for it.
Sometimes these qualities happen by accident and are fully in the eye of the beholder, as with the “Building Blocks” and “Waterfront Whimsy” below. In other cases creative people add whimsy on purpose, such as with the “Artful Fence” which stands in for chain link and barbed wire to make perimeter defense something more fanciful. And the installation of hanging laundry adds lightness to what might otherwise be a dull and confining alley.
Looking down the grassy slope, the wooden fence and shaded road beyond were a reminder of how fences can bring a sense of safety, but also restrict freedom of movement — and perhaps even thought.
As counterpoint there was a simple bench made of new wood sitting high on the hill overlooking some ponds from a circle of white stones and shells. The bench seemed to reach to the sky in the breeze. That connection with the sky and the expansive view of the horizon recognized no boundaries.
Cross Winds - 2012
[Note: The “celery fields” is a local park created out of an old landfill and a series of county flood control ponds. The covered landfill creates an artificial hill overlooking the ponds that are home to many birds.]
We no longer trust beauty as a serious means of investigation. But it can be ... In fact, beauty can be incendiary; it can be subversive; it can make us cringe.
-- David Maisel, Photographer
"It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it." -- Anais Nin
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders of the universe, the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.” -- Rachel Carson