Let street art do the talking


It is February, 2024.  Glasgow.  While waiting patiently for the street art tour guide to arrive, after about fifteen minutes realisation has hit - there is no tour happening, cancellation messages arrive too late but we have allocated a good few hours for this.

There is always next time but this opens a slot for me - curiosity and unanswered questions bloom.  The following day while taking a break with oversized rucksacks in the busy city centre, with a quick glance leftwards I spotted this : the image of girls and bubbles being blown.  Not only that, there is also one opposite with a very cool image of a french bulldog.

As an art lover but absolute novice at the same time I wonder and contemplate the perspective I have: the images are big, impressive, life-like and just so beautifully obvious.  There is no sense of it looking out of place or intrusive in any way.  The gritty and understated premises of this artwork at once surprises, pounces at you and remains discreet.  Contained in a tight location with a larger than life proportion, the artwork and its outer exposure is for you to make of it what you will - it has its own story.

Street art for me provokes mainly curiosity - I wonder what it would be like to see the artists in action while working on their piece.  Is it purely individual with the image above all as the only focus or are the surroundings chosen for a reason, perhaps a blending of the environment with subject matter.

Accessibility wise on the plus side - there are no fees, unlikely crowding and you can take all the time you like however for any mobility concerns the streets are on a decline at times and so care should be taken.

Does this particular art form send any specific message?  For me it means that street art can be easily integrated into the inner city and surrounding areas and as for permission, complaints and obstacles faced - this was something I wondered about.  Although personally I think it looks great and inspiring, maybe there are people with other concerns related to the street art.

Does street art add anything? Without reading too much into it, this backstreet would likely be bare except for bins and perhaps some litter but with the art it is bold, brightening and even startling.  Personally I believe it adds character, authenticity and provokes thinking - is it edgy and cool or maybe a trend that should have limitations?  A bland wall brought to life made me stop but would you?

Could street art be thought of as simply an extension of the art, design and architecture which surround us anyway?  It requires a plan, premises and a final execution!  Meeting its purpose but is it an otherwise bland wall like a canvas crying out for colour or already doing a grand job of holding up someones accommodation or business?

Are the queues at art museums and galleries being extended because of street art?  Is it perhaps a stepping stone to reach out to other art forms...a causation for stirring up feelings and interest which could embrace creativity as a whole picture.

Art can soothe, surprise and promote curiosity and street art is not the exception.  What is there not to love...

 Paula Smith  

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