the blog posts

street art bermuda!

Is it my imagination or are street artists slowly (extremely slowly!) taking over in Bermuda? It used to be that only bus stops attracted art or graffiti - the former usually by school kids, the latter by whomever. These days, though, more building owners are open to the possibilities. 

image - mary leiigh burnett

Look around, next time you're taking a drive, and check out the street art.

hamilton, bermuda

Some of the artwork is a little off the beaten path but worth the search.

southampton, bermudaOn the other hand, depending on your route to work, you may see it every day.

flatts, bermuda

Some is inspirational too!

hamilton, bermuda

It's not a lot but it's a start and there is more street art than is shown here, so pay attention. As I find out who the artists are, I will add credits. In the meantime, enjoy this new beginning.

urban improvements: quick and easy

image: maryleigh burnettIn an evening of PechaKucha Bermuda presentations not long ago, MaryLeigh Burnett had a MAD (Make A Difference) idea: convert our bus shelters into artists' pallets, harness the energy of students and artists and invigorate the bus waiting experience. 

This is a splendid idea and, in those locations where there is scope to do more, we should. The jargon term is "tactical urbanism" and it involves a distinct element of 'do first and ask later'. As it happens, though, I believe the Department of Transportation would not necessarily be adverse to an artistic takeover of bus shelters. After all, a number of schools have done so already.

Need inspiration? Check out some of the suggestions of Ellen Dunham-Jones and W Jude LeBlanc in How to Adopt Your Neighbourhood Bus Stop written for the website GOOD. image: maryleigh burnett

How 'bout it Bermuda?

art! culture! action!

In the African Urbanism blog post Accra's Creative Scene: Building a Locally-Driven Cultural Capital by Victoria, it was striking to me that, back in 2011, Accra's artists were pushing forward a locally driven, independent creative movement through art, culture and music. In 2011.

image: african urbanism

Yes, I know Chewstick was founded in 2002, and the numerous art galleries and festivals here were started many years before that, so I guess it's the words "locally driven" and "independent" that catch my eye and attention.

I had a conversation the other day with a videographer who, it seemed to me, was suffering from a certain ennui regarding life/the arts/culture in Bermuda. And yesterday I had a conversation with an environmentalist urging action first and apologies later.

There is a certain way of moving the arts and culture forward in Bermuda. It usually consists of preparing a business plan and presentation and shopping that to the foundations, companies and individuals you think might buy it. I can't say I get an especially driven, independent feeling about the arts in Bermuda when that is the model generally followed. And, yes, I can see the necessity; artists have bills to pay, just like everyone else, and funders must be responsible about the money dispensed.

But, just once, while we wait for that 'creative city agenda' to arise, what about stepping outside the norm? Doing the unexpected? Bringing life to un- or under-utilised spaces? Being driven, independent and action-oriented and doling out an apology after the street art or guerilla garden or parklet is completed? Imagine: the City of Hamilton as an ever-changing creative, cultural space.

Think about it.