Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Peace of Wild Things

I like graffiti. I like to take pictures of it wherever I go. Most of the graffiti I see falls into three categories:

1. tagging (with subcategories of boring and wacky - both usually illegible)
2. mural (large or small scenes whether humorous, provocative, or nonsensical)
3. sticker or adhesive paper art

Making graffiti is illegal in most places and while I don't condone breaking the law, I do think it is fascinating that there seems to be a common need to leave a mark on the world, whether by scratching your name into a tree or tagging a fence or producing a full-scale piece of 'illicit' public art. I always regret being caught out without my camera, because that's usually when I see the best graffiti. I make a mental note to go back and snap a pic when that happens. I have captured some very interesting examples here in the UK. I'd like to share some of them with you.

Here are a couple of examples of sticker and adhesive paper graffiti, the skull from a London pub and the Tom of Finland meets Donnie Darko from Maidstone:

note: ASBO stands for Anti-Social Behavior Order and is a legal term in the UK

These are from an area of Brighton tucked out of the way:

These three are all from the same train underpass in Canterbury:

This one below is special to me. It falls outside of the usual three categories. It is a poem written in the same Canterbury train underpass as the above pieces. And no, it wasn't me.

It was hard to capture this one in a single frame. I loved this view of it. The words are from the following poem by Wendell Berry:

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

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