Another book me and Miss 4 and 3/4s have on the go is Peter Brown’s “The Curious Garden”.
This book is about a little boy who lives in a very drab, industrial city. On a walk he discovers a neglected lonely garden on an abandoned railway line. He decides to help the plants along and in doing so creates this magnificent garden which has a life of its own and inspires others to join in.
It’s a gorgeous book and it speaks of hope, potential, determination and the power of one person to achieve amazing things. As you can see above, the illustrations are truly wonderful.
What makes this extra spesh though is that this story is inspired by an actual garden in a real abandoned railway, called the High Line, in Manhattan. Left decaying in 1980, 2 neighbours took it upon themselves in 1999 to do a spot of guerilla gardening, starting what has turned out to be a magnificent collective of community spirit in “Friends of the High Line”.
My fabulous Out-Laws are in NYC at the moment and visiting this amazing place is on the top of their itinerary – I can’t wait to hear all about it. This place is truly magical and has become a place of true community spirit, co-opting, collective vision and energy, partnership, design, public art and performance. You can check it out here: http://www.thehighline.org/ or by watching this awesome video (wait for the ad to pass, it’s well worth it):
My family and I are gardeners to the core, so this book is totally for us. But if you aren’t the gardening sort or have had a couple of past tragedies, I hope this inspires you to go get a packet of seeds to sprinkle in your garden or plant a herb in a pot. Give it a go – with the right amount of attention and love anyone can achieve anything.
Over the last year and a half I have become increasingly obsessed with Urban/Street Art. Can’t get enough of the stuff and have been uber-excited to see Adelaide embracing this with such gusto.
Creative collectives such as Format and recent events like Street Dreams and Indelible (so sad that I missed this) – just spur my enthusiasm – I am blown away by the talent and energy (not to mention the final product).
My poor work colleagues don’t hear the end of it from me, every time we move to play-space to conceptualize what might be for project, you can bet you bottom $ that I pipe in with some wacky Street Art concept *team rolls eyes*. Yeah come on people……
Other than the awesome factor, what I really love about it is: its all about where our younger peeps are at: It embraces and celebrates their identity and what they associate with, rather than just discouraging & regulating it. It is about trust and creating a cool space. It’s about community and culture. It sort of has a mischievous feel about it, it’s provocative and often super intelligent and political. It promotes diversity, creativity and artistic endeavour and, with any luck, it encourages younger people feel proud of the place they live. There’s more but that would just be raving.
To give you a taste, here’s a few pics of cool urban art happening about the place.
Adelaide Street Art:
From LA’s MOCA – Art in the Streets:
If you want to see more awesomeness have a look here and here.
Final note: this post is in no way condoning random tagging on people’s private property, which is highly disrespectful, not to mention often incredibly ugly. However I do wonder what might be if we took a different, collective approach to turning this issue into an opportunity…..
Final final note: I am sad to say that I no longer see myself in this “younger people” category *booooo* – I guess it’s all relative….