August 11th, 2018
The magic of the creative process is to inspire and motivate you to see a colorful world.
Graffiti: writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place.
synonyms: street art, spray-painting, inscriptions, drawings;
The graffiti, in these days, becomes a social experiment. The park in Southern Alberta called Writing on Stone defies itself by it's very name. Visitors are Impressed by it's beauty coming from a flat endless prairie to a valley of sandstone hoodoos and a milky river meandering through it. This is a public place, designated as a provincial park. It has become a place where the public is invited to explore, hike, and camp. It is a track of land that is ripe with history. Both prehistoric and cultural. Named initially for many rock art panels found on their cliff walls. From the Blackfoot word Áísínai'pi, meaning "it is written," Writing-On-Stone is both a provincial park and a place of great archaeological significance. Located in south-central Alberta, Writing-On-Stone contains one of the most important collections of ancient rock art found anywhere in North America.
Herein lies the problem with Writing On Stone graffiti.
Why I call it a social problem? This graffiti is Vandalism, not street art or public art.
Street art became a tool, in an urban setting, to communicate views of dissent or expressing political concerns. This need to write your name over and over again in a public space, comes from a culture of fame. It is regrettable that these vandals think this is the only way to become famous. The vandalism at Writing On Stone is an inexcusable destruction of property and has been shown to have negative repercussions in this particular setting. When you are inscribing your name on a sandstone rock in this area you are, more than likely, not aware of the ancient rock art you may be destroying beneath. Your individual need for notoriety overrides the ancient history of those who told their stories in a more succinct nature, through their rock art.
Criminologists have observed vandalism to have a "snowball effect" of generating more negativity within the vicinity of known spots of graffiti. If this graffiti is not removed, people will walk by and think no one cares about the place. The unfavorable damage created by incised names, scratches and scribbles on the rock surface therefore becomes acceptable. Then, if it is acceptable, it becomes increasingly more likely graffiti will continue without consequence.
This vandalism is not acceptable in the park and attempts are being made to remove graffiti from the sandstone rock hoodoos and cliff faces.
The respect for the earth, the people of this earth, and for self, seem to be of little significance to a sub-culture of a generation we have today. Noted, I am not blaming an entire generation, but a subculture that does exist. A blanket statement that seems to reveal itself in every generation of the past.... "Kids today!" ...seems to be a statement uttered by an older generation of adults that presumably know better.
So back to the question of what kind of artist am I?
Perhaps I want to help beautify the landscape before me and inspire you to see the same. To observe the landscape directly with emotion. A positive emotion. Urban culture has begun to pervade the rural landscape. Perhaps we can stop the Vandalism by saying "we care for this area." We want to preserve the beauty nature has revealed to us. To be reminded of our own emotions when walking the trails of natural earth. Feel the magnetic energy, the sun, soil, and wind can reveal, without the visual distraction of mans claim for attention.
This July, I was honored to be asked to help in the Vandalism/Graffiti removal and Camouflage project. To do my part, as an artist, to help in the conservation of our land, our culture, and prove to others we will not neglect this place of beauty.
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