Posts tagged ‘Graffiti’

July 20, 2011

“Where is my future?”

Clonakilty Graffiti

Yesterday I came across another work of art by Clonakilty’s answer to Banksy.  You may remember a previous post of Zirak’s work; it’s a bit more thoughtful that your average graffiti.

So we have a young boy holding a placard saying “Where is my future?”  He has hollow-looking sunken black eyes, he looks dirty and untidy, a hand is in his pocket and his shoe laces are untied.  He looks depressed, lost and fearful, though at the same time his stance is one of innocence mixed with a little defiance.  The back-to-front e’s on the placard suggest this boy is old enough to read and write but only just, he is not quite there yet – he has his whole life ahead of him, a future overflowing with dreams, ambitions and possibilities.  The world is his oyster.  Or is it?  I think Zirak is refelcting on the economic woes of this country and how the dreams that many had during the Celtic Tiger years are now in ruins; no longer are the children wearing designer labels and their parents driving around in huge SUV’s.  Yes the future for many in this country is bleak compared to what it was, but perhaps a bit of perspective is needed too.

Thinking about this made me remember that wonderful verse from Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

No matter how bleak this life may be, in God there is always a hope and a future for all.

Thank you Zirak for another thoughtful piece of Street Art.

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May 27, 2011

Col. Gaddafi comes to Clonakilty…

Clonakilty Street art

Walking down the main street in Clonakilty yesterday evening I was stopped in my tracks by this picture, painted on a board that has been placed over the window of a closed shop.  It intrigues me on a number of levels; firstly, although it is a fairly simple painting / stencil, the person depicted is instantly recognisable as the longtime ruler of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi who has been a thorn in the flesh of the U.S. and U.K. at least since the Lockerbie Bombing of December 1988 and probably for many years before that.  Of course more recently Gaddafi is in the news for the terrible situation in Libyaat the moment, a heartbreaking conflict between those loyal to Gaddafi and those (inspired by the success of their neighbours in Egypt) wanting the end of Gaddafi’s regime and to replace it with a democracy.

Secondly, the name of the artist is interesting; “Zirak” is not a common name in West Cork!  A quick Internet search shows that the name originates from an area overlapping Pakistan and Afghanistan, so perhaps the artist has come from there, or if not then certainly the artist’s ancestors did.  Why did they feel the need to paint this?  Perhaps it is a very graphic (literally) way of expressing their thoughts on what is happening in Libya at the moment – which brings me to the third level of interest, the words:

They still love me … right?

This puts in a nutshell what it is all about.  The conflict in Libya for many people is simply Gaddafi’s ego verses everyone else.  He would of course not be the first leader attempting to cling on to power in the face of overwhelming opposition, but it seems that his desire to be liked, respected, feared and revered has cost many lives, including members of his own family – and ultimately it may very well cost him his life also…

Of course we all want to be loved, but when that desire to be loved mutates into a desire to be adulated, whether the person is a rock star, footballer or political leader or even just somebody like you or me, then that is a recipe for grief.  It all makes me think of Someone who loves us more than we will ever know, understand or fully appreciate:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

If only Gaddafi had been told this news while he was still a young man…

January 19, 2009

Change War for …

Panasonic LX1, 1/50 sec, f2.8, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent (Click to enlarge)

I know that “change war for schools”, “change war for smiles” is very simplistic, but why not? I like the deliberate naivety of the artist. It reminds me of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, a song which for me at least is in equal measure annoyingly simplistic and dreamingly uplifting.

If only we could change war for schools, if only we could change war for smiles. Of course there is hope:

He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more.

(Isaiah 2:4)