Sydney: Think Streets, Think Art

Art has a tendency to escape the confines of museums and galleries in Sydney.
Art has a tendency to escape the confines of museums and galleries in Sydney.

I remember encountering a quote which made me rethink the meaning of art.  What makes art so incredible?  Why do we complement someone’s skill by calling it an ‘art’?  Hearing British scholar Christopher Dawson’s quote struck me instantly: that ‘social activity is of its very nature artistic; it is the shaping of the rough material of man’s environment by human skill and creativeness’.

If this is the case, then surely art must be in everything we do.  It is the most outward expression of one’s dignity, one’s humanity. But if this is the case, then why do many of us see art as something to be confined to sculptures, museums and galleries?  Besides, without the adequate contextual knowledge, galleries are little more than a bore for many.  But when thrown out there into the real world, outside artificial constructs, dynamic and vividly living among us, we begin to see art for what it is.

And Sydney is no stranger to this philosophy: walk its streets and you can find art anywhere. In most cases, it’s art with purpose; and with works appearing, disappearing and reappearing within a matter of weeks, art tends to move faster than the city itself at times.

So here we present … a dynamic rhino.  The text on the stand says it’s about environmental awareness – but anyone can see by the paint that it celebrates the sea, and our relationship with it.  Oh, and there’s another rhino right behind it not in the picture, celebrating the grass.  Yes, come to Australia, and even in suburban Sydney you’ll appreciate Australians’ homely relationship with nature.

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