Last year while studying we had to do some research into one area that related to the space that we were working in. Personally I had the basement space of our school, and though the resulting devised performance is nothing AT ALL to write home about, the research itself is.
Due to the fact that I couldn’t find myself interested in anything that specifically or directly related to the space I was in, I started talking to my friends in class about how totally depressed I was that nothing I researched really struck me as interesting and what should I do next. When one of the girls suggested I look into Spelunking (I think she suggested it because it’s such a great word to say). Anyway so what’s spelunking I asked and did some research and found that Spelunking (Urban exploring) is TOTALLY EXCITING!
Anyway along my researching way I found out some other stuff namely a tunnel nicknamed the freedom tunnel for the boy who painted the pictures along all of the walls in the tunnel.
Now the story I heard, or liked to think anyway, about the story is that there was a little boy who used to creep down into this tunnel and play with the people living in the tunnel. The homeless people who had no where else to go (as can sometimes be the case). This little boy could paint well and loved art and got to know and like these people immensely and ultimately started painting the walls of their living space with images from the middle-class world that he himself lived in; perhaps to brighten up their world, make things a little less pessimistic a little more optimistic, or maybe just livable.
Anyway, so this charming young chap (now known as Freedom) had painted all of these images for these people in their little abode, and these images became well respected by the people, so much so that they haven’t been tagged (very often) and that they are still something to behold.
I just think this sort of story is lovely, whether blown out of context or chinese whispered out of shape, there is something of the essence of why we need art, of being together in a world sometimes made cruel, depressing, or any thing else by others. and this makes me happy.
When presenting my research I also included information relating to something I saw in Courtney Central in Wellington one Valentines day (and as I am me and love a good story) I came up with a bit of a story to go with it. What i saw was a young girl who was given a bunch of flowers by her boyfriend pick one of the flowers out of the bouquet and went up to the cleaner of the mall and quietly gave the woman the flower. The cleaner woman was so blown away by the gift and was so good hearted that she then got what was the only “vase” around and placed the flower in this disposed of paper coke cup, and put the flower out so that others might be able to see it and share it. Wonderful!
There is also another artist who does Urban Spelunking and then takes photographs of herself in these spaces which I would like to review sometime a little later. But here I am just now opening up something I think is lovely about society, that so often is missed.