Archive for the ‘be free’ Tag
I recently posted here about a number of artworks around Fitzroy and Clifton Hill featuring a figure throwing playing cards into the air, accompanied by the text ‘be free’.
As part of that post, I included a photograph of a very fresh looking ‘Be free’ artwork, at the entrance to an underpass in Clifton Hill, and on the day that I photographed it, the council graffiti removal van was parked nearby: I commented that I hoped it was not there to paint over this artwork.
Well, it wasn’t, not that day at least.
‘Be free’ stayed at the entrance to the overpass, and attracted some tagging, which then attracted some commentary of its own:
I’m indebted to Lorraine, a reader of this blog, who sent me this photograph, commenting to me in the email, ‘Not erased as you feared but tagged. It somehow works.’
Indeed, the placement of the tag somehow connects with the image, even though it covers over many of those gorgeous playing cards. One passerby felt perhaps that the tag did not work well with ‘Be free’, and wrote bluntly ‘this tag is brainless’ next to it – so that the site became a series of layers of significations.
But not for long. Lorraine emailed me this today, having taken it three days ago. Opening the email and viewing the photograph was a strange experience for me, because I had already walked past the underpass this morning, to find this:
Blankness. Fresh paint, no doubt applied by an assiduous graffiti removal van.
Was it the presence of the tag and the subsequent commentary on the tag that attracted the attention of the graffiti removalists? Or were the artwork’s days numbered, as testified by the presence of the graffiti removal van two weeks ago – perhaps it was just working its way around the locality and was always going to paint over ‘Be free’, no matter whether it was tagged or not.
I can’t help but feel sad for its disappearance. It fitted the site so perfectly. It must have made many people smile – those playing cards! Magnificent composition. I hope that more are being affixed to a wall somewhere very soon.
Last year, when I wasnot long returned from travelling overseas for 3 months and was taking our cat to the vet to be weighed (yes, she is on a weight reduction diet, the poor, chunky thing), I came across this artwork:
It’s a nicey composed work, a combination of stencil work for the figure and the text (which reads ‘Be Free’), with playing cards glued to the wall as though the little girl is scattering them to the winds.
I really liked its positioning and execution, and thought that it was one of the most interesting works that had appeared around Melbourne while I had been away. But I also assumed it was a single work.
Yesterday, on an evening when it was too hot to cook, we headed out to eat at a local cafe. On the way, I was delighted to discover another ‘Be Free’, freshly applied to a wall at the corner of Victoria Street and Brunswick Street:
Again, nicely positioned; again, the combination of stencil work with the playing cards to add texture and dimension.
And then this morning, in another suburb, I saw this work:
A different positioned figure this time (and an adult rather than a child), and the composition seems altered to fit the different dimensions of this space, which is at the entrance to a rather drab underpass leading away from a MacDonalds and a brothel – exactly the sort of location that to me needs an exhortation to ‘be free’.
As I came out of the underpass on the other side, I saw the local council ‘Graffiti Clean-Up’ van approaching. I hope that this beautiful work is still there tomorrow…