Art Under a Bridge


The idea of permanence imbues feelings of safety and security.

Stability, durability, endurance, constancy – these words allow us to indulge in long-term planning and undertake big dreams that will happen sometime in the future.    The assumption of indefinite unchangeability suggests that we have time enough for everything because what is today, will surely be here tomorrow.

Tomorrows are fresh starts and they chose their own destinies.  All we are given is a reasonable expectation or likelihood of what may, or may not, occur.

For all our supposed need for permanence, however, what lies within us is something far more profound – the need to explore, to experience the extraordinary, to live big lives.  Now, in the present. Not in the opaque and unknown future.

One thing that remains steadfast is our desire for community, for belonging, for a place to call home.

#ChalkTalks – a student project by CityStudio “made by us, for you” appeared in the afternoon and left the same evening.

Thomas Merton, in No Man is an Island, wrote, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”   That thought came to mind when I walked under a bridge and experienced this remarkable temporary art installation.


Within a few hours, the crowds dispersed, and the music stopped. By morning, all that remained were a few chalk messages left on cement walls.  And yet, what these students said through art, remains with those who experienced the moment.

Perhaps that is the only permanence we need.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

23 thoughts on “Art Under a Bridge

  1. We did a similar project many years ago in England where we lived. Our house was right by the sea, reachable through a tunnel outside our garden. We got paint donated and offered our ideas to the headmaster of our local school. He liked and so one day students came and painted the whole inside of the tunnel – it turned out to be a great success and for a very long time this stopped any horrible and often obscene graffiti appearing anywhere in our small town. Carina

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    1. What a wonderful idea! And what a fabulous garden to have a tunnel directly to the sea. Sounds like something that would appear is a Victorian novel. Your idea created a community event where people were allowed to participate fully in the creative process and in doing so expanded their outlook on working together for a common goal. To me, this is art in the purest form for it seeks positive outcomes. Thank you for your comments and insight. Sending hugs across the ocean…

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    1. I am so very glad that you joined us “under the bridge.” The rain had been with us all day long and miraculously cleared when the music started and the lights came out. Sending many hugs to “Santa Claus Lane” in McCook, NE!

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    1. There are wonderful possibilities when people come together to share ideas, especially when there is a outcome, however temporary, that distills the discussion. What is home is especially meaningful, given Vancouver’s high cost of shelter and, for that matter, in all parts of the world. I was especially taken with the “library” and the prominence given to the categories. The impromptu music drifting over the dark night enhanced the displays. Creative endeavours bring us together. Thanks for joining us…

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  2. What a wonderful art project; something so fleeting, yet connecting of community under the physical, more permanent connector, the bridge. Permanence and change so perfectly illustrated in your post and your video.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Gallivanta. If we hadn’t walked by as they were setting up, we wouldn’t have known about the event. Actually, the set up was just as interesting as the presentation. People were excited to work together which was evident by laughter, chatter, and welcoming attitude. The best of life! Hugs coming your way.

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  3. I appreciate the way you preface the subject of permanence, with idea, as in ‘The idea of permanence, imbuing the feelings of safety and security’. If I had not read on, I would have appropriated your word “Yikes” minus its inclusion of the humorous slant, and said no more, for sadly time and experience can and does eventually lead to cynicism, which should be a no-no as it relates to dreams of and for the future, at any age.

    Your piece is magic, and something to appreciate at this near festive time of the year, but most especially for me as my life consists of often scribbling on the subject of dreams and the future, etc., but more so because one of my two daughters, Nicole Fournier, is a highly recognized Performance Artist in and out of Canada (not to mention other of her art forms) who has combined her performance art with ecology. Ergo I can surely relate to your closing paragraph, and I quote in part;

    By morning, all that remained were a few chalk messages left on cement walls. And yet, what these students said through art, remains with those who experienced the moment. Perhaps that is the only permanence we need.

    And if I may, would suggest that, the memory of these temporary creations are in essence the only permanence on which we can truly count!

    Thank you for this Rebecca.



    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Jean-Jacques – you have the best way of recognizing the essence of a life well-lived. Thank you so much for sharing your insight. I can only imagine the wonderful discussions that occur over dinner in your home. Creativity runs ( gallops) in your family. Thank you for your visit and comments – they mean a great deal to me!!


      1. Its just that you make it so easy to respond to the intelligent presentations that compose the subjects you choose. All of which are always most interesting. Your a beacon of light, dear friend, in a world that is starving for that personal written word touch of your kind. Thank you for doing this, Rebecca!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your support, encouragement, insight and poetry remind me of J.R.R.. Tolkien’s words: “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” Every word that sheds light provides hope.


    1. Good morning from Vancouver! The sky is filled with sunshine after a week of torrential rains. You are right – nothing lasts forever. Beauty is in diversity, in sharing ideas, moments, experiences. Many thanks coming across the “blogger miles”. Hugs!


  4. Rebecca, this is a beautiful post! I feel inspired by the project, this must have such a huge positive effect on the community, coming together, being creative, sharing…and yes, it is permanent as it stays with them long after! Isn’t a lot of art like that…temporarily seen, long-lasting on our heart and soul. I love the quote…just wonderful: ‘ “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” How true…hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Annika, for your lovely comments. I have been thinking a great deal about storytelling these past weeks – how we have come full circle to the idea of bringing, art, experience, community together in telling our personal stories. And in so doing, we enter the immense narrative of human history. Everything we do expresses the urge to communicate – dance, poetry, writing, art, music. Richard Wagamese, in Medicine Walk, wrote: “All that we are is story. From the moment we are born to the time we continue on our spirit journey, we are involved in the creation of the story of our time here. It is what we arrive with. It is all we leave behind. We are not the things we accumulate. We are not the things we deem important. We are story. All of us.” Thank you for stopping by…I enjoy our conversations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! Thank you for sharing that quote – I have never heard of him nor the book but will look it up. Meanwhile, this is going into my quote file! Yes, a joy to ‘chat’ and share our thoughts…I was thinking about people in the centuries before us when at St. Paul’s Cathedral, what they would have made of it, what their lives were like…We are story!

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    1. Isn’t it wonderful to be a witness to an “once in a lifetime” event. I saw the set-up and spoke to a few of the artists. They were excited and their enthusiasm brought people together. It is a testament to humanity’s need to engage within a creative, dynamic community. Thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging comments.


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