We have been enjoying the most beautiful autumnal weather this week – crisp, golden sunshine that begs you to head outdoors. I was invited to meet some California friends in London yesterday, and together we enjoyed a long and leisurely wander from Tower Bridge to Westminster. We weren’t alone as it seemed that much of London’s vast population was similarly drawn to the Thames, but the crowds were so friendly and laid back that they seemed more fun than oppressive. We strolled and talked and enjoyed the fact that our friendship has spanned both decades and miles.
I’m so glad that Laura Lopez thought to pull out her phone to capture this selfie of the three of us crossing London Bridge with Tower Bridge in the background – a happy memory!
Along with the familiar landmarks were a host of street artists who are really, really good at what they do – from singing to blowing massive bubbles to spouting fire out of their brass instruments while playing oompah music, and a whole lot more.
I also spotted bits of craftivist art and activities along the way, reminders of our times and the responsibilities we all have to each other, our children, and our planet. The Ship of Tolerance, especially, deserves a mention:
The Ship of Tolerance is an international art project created by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. According to its webpage, it is intended
… to reflect how divergent cultures interpret tolerance and how these interpretations overlap. The ship’s sails are stitched together from paintings by hundreds of local schoolchildren from different ethnic and social backgrounds, and will convey a message of tolerance and hope. By participating in the creation of this ship children will learn about respecting different cultures and ideas while appreciating how they differ from their own. In short, through this creative process, they will both demonstrate and gain a vibrant lesson in tolerance.
As a casual observer learning about it for the first time, the colourful ship captured my imagination and won over my heart. Truly beautiful in both concept and execution, it needed no explanation or narrative – it spoke for itself. It is the existence of these kinds of projects that keep my hope for both humanity and our planet alive.