March 2012


Around this time of year a non-gardener will normally say to me, “Aren’t the daffodils beautiful?”

“Mmmm, I say. Or rather, “Hmmm?”

You see they’re not. They’re pretty ghastly as far as I’m concerned. I came out of the closet on this about 2 years ago. It’s partly their lack of subtlety – but mostly I can cope with the non-subtle – it’s more about their form and presence.

They just about never look right – apart, that is, from huge egg-yolk smears along the verges of motorways and such. But then one has the advantage of whizzing past the things at speed.

To me the true (and beautiful) harbingers if spring are things like a smattering of violets, seen here in a white form.

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There’s a street that I walk down regularly. It’s where this is found and also not far from this. There, between two buildings, is a gap. I’m not sure why there isn’t a building there, but I don’t think it’s because it’s more valuable as a car park space, which is the use to which it’s put. All of which is a largely irrelevant preamble to the fact that the two walls have recently been covered by big street art murals.

They’re amazing. Initially I wondered how such large pieces had been created clandestinely on a busy urban street, but then saw the name Zorbas running down the side. This isn’t the artist, but rather the café-kebab shop next door, so they were perhaps commissioned. That said the shop has been closed for some months now, so they are perhaps by way of a memorial

Very different stylistically, I first assumed that they were by two artists, but closer observation shows “On Going Kaos” written on one and “OGK” on the other (Kaos is a tag that I’ve seen around) and so I reckon that they are by a single artist showing their skill in different styles

It’s shame more businesses don’t commission art like this to breath life into grotty spaces. And it’s a shame that the tight space makes the murals difficult to take in at once.