Sunday 3 July 2022

2022 Topic 10: Up my Street - Topic introduction

Hi everyone, Keren here, thinking a little differently about our next topic. Instead of the usual commentary about the art we normally deliver in each post, I'm adding the visual amongst the verse. You add the expression to the images and let the poetry inform the photographs. 

Up My Street

Do you ever see, do you stop and consider the place where you reside?

Or do you look intently, peering from outside

Your imagination runs riot, wondering who lives within

Or do you scurry past the doors, anonymity intact.

Each door tells a story, the marks, the scuffs,

Unique handles, patina and rust

The front spaces; a patchwork of care and design

Blowsy old roses creeping to the sky,

Pampas grasses filling the space

Old groaning oaks, planted too near

Burrowing their roots through the foundations

Some people’s fronts, a comment on their lives

Carefree, too busy, rubbish blown in

Windows, some sparkling, cleaned by a local

Others, streaky with tiny handprints pressed up close

Clouded with netting, louvres or blinds

Dangling with rainbows, cobwebs, windchimes

Stickers and phrases, prohibiting salesmen

Announcing an arrival, birthday occasion

Some of these dwellings deserve a feature

Of how to curate a pleasing structure

In publications designed to sell

A lifestyle, a vibe, a materialist’s dream

Tucked away silently are less imposing walls

Quietly whispering of their comfort

Their mismatched yet cosy outsides and in

Telling a tale that home is for living

Not for show,

Memories made, relaxing and growing

Painting, remodelling our maturing lives

Births, lives, breakups and breakdowns

Deaths and parting, leaving and loving

Look up further, there’s more than just this

Spy the teddies, the dolls, the cars and tractors

Posters, makeup, dust and books

Voluminous velveted sweeping curtains

Crisp eyeleted striped precise blinds

Some never close, some never open

Some open at odd times, shift worker’s homes

Roof space converted,

Chimney stacks cracked

Birds nests blocking a real fire within

Look around at the pride of the dwellers

The transportation, gleaming or rusting

Can hint of their views on sustainable living

See down the streets, the potholes, the manholes

The fences, the bricked walls, drives and the hedgerows

Where are the parks, the places to play,

The areas to commune and catchup and cluster

Sometimes the only combination of green and space

The places where cobwebs are dusted from the soul

Areas to exercise, breathe deeply and run

Picnics and reading and rays from the sun

Built up beds, full of flowers and shrubs

Neighbourhood veggies, allotments and drugs

Are our streets safe for the lonely, the women, the children?

Can you walk under decorative streetlights without fear?

Is your park full of discarded needles, canisters and cans?

Fearing walking through shrubbery and meeting a gang

Is this suburbia? What about the rest?

The remote, the small, the forest dwellers

The communities linked by animals and crops

The incomers, outgoers, second homers and retirers

What are their streets like? Cobbled or winding

Remote, deserted, dusty or unkempt

A sense of the community dwelling at distance

Find the halls, the pubs, the restaurant and churches

Places of worship bringing together

Surgeries, services, stores and sheds

Meeting the needs of the people contained

Fairs and meets, likeminded entertained

A chance for the remote to keep coming near

Our ‘streets’ may be tarmacked in grey

But are festooned with life

Art in the colours painted on bricks,

Graffiti scrawled on dour walls

Creative types bringing life to the dreary

Wind blown seeds sprouting to flower

Life bursting from the cracks

That’s where the light gets in

Katherine Treffinger

Some never see the light, remaining sheltered, alone

No neighbours who notice that they’re always home

Unable to leave for fear or extended age

Reliant on those who deliver life to their door

Brief smiles from deliverers and then hours of silence

Our streets are a social commentary on our priorities

Our ability to notice what needs improving

Reducing the grey of our lives with planted beauty

Reducing the solitude of other’s lives with intentional kindness

These roads of our lives are filled with potential

Possibilities unique to us and our communities

How will you add to the beauty you are amidst?

Considering where we reside, or live or feel at home can make us think very differently to others. Creating a piece of art describing what a dwelling means to you, or simply where you feel at home can be cathartic. Fashion a piece of art that's also a creative social historic piece for generations beyond you to look at and understand what your connection to your street looked like. Do join in with us we'd love to understand what it's like to live where you are.

If you want to create along with us, please share on our social feeds so we can see what you get up to. The best places are Instagram @paperartsy or post in PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. Make sure you tag us in your contributions, we love to see what you get up to in your creative world!  


PaperArtsy said...

Ohh Keren such a fun way to do the intro to this topic!

Words and Pictures said...

Brilliant... well, it's words and pictures, isn't it, so I would like it!! A great inspiration post, Keren.
Alison x

Ellie Knol said...

Gorgeous words and pictures.. and STAMPS, PAPER and COLOR, so just as Alison says: I like it, if this was the only reason! BUT it's also a post with beautiful inspiration!