It was this piece of street art on a crumbling wall in Paris which inspired the name of my upcoming exhibition “Life is Beautiful: Fremantle, Kyoto, Paris”. When I saw the tiny image on the wall with its words I thought, “That’s my message as well”. It fascinated me that street artist, Zalez, chose to put those words next to a figure who was in a precarious position; holding on for dear life to the ropes of a balloon. Whether she is ascending or descending is uncertain. Her body language looks vulnerable and courageous simultaneously.
This life is precarious and finite. Who knows what fates await us and think of the minefields we have already crossed at various times of our lives.
Despite all our problems, the wonder of life is all around. All it takes is openness and sensitivity to look. My exhibition states this simple message. It is a reminder to myself and to you to appreciate our surroundings from the humble to the spectacular. I would like the message to be my legacy. I hope that people will be inspired by the three words just as I was when I saw them on that Paris wall. They stopped me in my tracks.
The drawings in the exhibition are a manifestation of the joy I experience when I walk with my camera and compose through my lens – both here and overseas. When I stroll just looking, eyes and mind ready to receive whatever I come across, I feel deep happiness…and again in my studio when I create the drawings with coloured pencils.
There really were five blue chalk numerals to the right of the red balloon on the Paris wall. When I drew them in I changed them to 31759. That’s my birthday. I have chosen to become the dangling figure. I don’t know what is ahead but I am trying to enjoy the trip and be brave.
I contacted Zalez on Facebook and showed him the drawing I had made of his work plus the blog post I had written. I wrote that I hoped he didn’t mind my making a drawing of his street art. He replied, “Hi dear, Thank you for contacting me! Sure you can use the image you found in Paris. The work in the street is for everybody, it’s free! Best, Zalez”.
Just the other day I heard an author (who had had a turbulent life) being interviewed on the radio. She said, “Life isn’t perfect, but it can be beautiful nonetheless”.
You can see all 28 drawings for the exhibition here on my website.