I genuinely miss my occasional conversations with Andrew Burns Colwill. I haven’t seen the artist for well over a year now, possibly two, and that is far too long. During that time I haven’t seen too much of his street work either, so it was with great joy that I found this recent piece by him on the wall of the North Street Standard.
One of the things that chimes for me with all of ABC’s work is the environmental theme at its heart, and this piece is more overt than some of his work, with a direct call to action emblazoned on the left hand side.
The Earth sitting at the top end of an hourglass is a fabulous visual metaphor for the urgency of the predicament we find ourselves in. As the Earth drips down into the lower half of the hour glass, a face is seen in the centre, as if the soul of the planet was being drained out.
This is a fabulous piece of fine art from one of my favourite people in Bristol.
We all must do what we can, and we can do what we must.
Mr Draws really came up with something of a surprise at this year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival with this environmental piece of an elephant and the slogan ‘ system change not climate change’.
I caught up with Mr Draws in the centre of town and he told me that he had used a technique for the first time which is used by many artists called a doodle grid. He reported that he enjoyed it and that it had worked really well. There seems to be a bit of a mixture of techniques and styles within the piece, for example the rather abstract foliage, the well proportioned elephant and the twigs with leaves. A strange combination but one with a clear strong message.
On the news that Greta Thunberg will be visiting Bristol this Friday for her school climate strike. I have given both of my children permission to protest if they wish to add their voices to the campaign. I am rather excited and will be taking an extended lunch break to protest myself.
Greta Thunberg is an extraordinary young woman. She has managed to bring a difficult message to the world stage and has been given tremendous exposure. I believe her when she says that she will not give up, and I believe that what we are witnessing is the beginning of a movement for change the likes of which we have not seen before.
Of course there are those who say that they agree, BUT (remember everything before the but is bullshit) that it can’t be done, that her demands are unrealistic. Those people are in my view wrong and this excuse has been used as a reason for inertia for decades. Had we been taking action 30 years ago, the urgency of action now would not have felt so acute.
The best Donald Trump could come up with on Twitter was this sarcastic comment
‘She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!’
How immature, but then we know all we need to know about Donald Trump. On the other hand Greta Thunberg has behaved with utter dignity and has so much more credibility than any politician I can think of.
I subscribe entirely to Greta Thunberg’s mission and have been waiting for leadership on this issue for decades – little did I think it would come from a Swedish school girl, but then maybe that’s exactly where it needed to come from, from somebody outside the establishment.
The hard work begins now as changes to our learned way of life begin to gain traction. It doesn’t necessarily mean sacrifice, rather it means change, and much of that change will be for the better. Anyhow in its simplest form, the changes are necessary so that our children and their children can live in a world like the one we grew up in (or even better). Do we need any greater incentive than that?