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Artwork by Patrick DolanMore Information

Creatives reclaiming the city?

So this morning, out and about on my business around the goodly suburb of Basford, I noticed our resident librarian in a phone box had been doing his/ her work overnight. I’ve spotted books in the boxes before and there was another lot today. I love this idea.

A friend then put me in touch with this as a wider idea. John Locke (no, not the father of classical liberalism, another one) has had the idea of converting phone boxes into guerrilla libraries in New York. He’s working on the same idea as the Book Crossing movement – sharing second hand books in public places – but has gone one step further to reclaim a public space to do this properly. You can read more about how it’s going here.

The pop up shop works on a similar premise too. There are more and more of these, selling the wares of independent crafters and designer makers who cannot possibly afford business rents but still have a viable product. Reclaiming the retail space of failed businesses, reclaiming the high street, what a treat to go round these and find interesting unique non-commercial well made goods, right on your doorstep.

I love this idea too. In fact I love anything that removes bland faceless corporations from every aspect of our lives. Is this the recession which will be characterised by a revival of independent crafts, of personal recommendations? Perhaps I’m going too far. But bearing in mind how much the current administration seems set on destroying libraries, any kind of arts funding all the while encouraging more bland faceless corporations to take over more and more, it’s a relief more than anything to see some kind of fightback.

I’d been idly thinking this sort of thing when I then came across this in last weekend’s newspaper. What a lovely idea – displaying art where we are used to seeing crap adverts. It ties in nicely with what our friends at Screens in the Wild are trying to do (if you haven’t read last week’s blog post about them yet, I recommend you do so, and not cos I wrote it.)

Taking the best of what we already have, and giving it back to the people, brightening our day and broadening our minds. I LOVE this idea. And who knows what will come of it? Perhaps some kid who likes drawing but has never been to an art gallery will see one and remember that day forever as he/ she goes on to become the next Damien Hirst. Or perhaps not. But as a nation, we own this stuff and we should get to see it every day. Celebrate it, make it a part of us.

Can you think of anything better than going about your daily business, the long commute into work, the shopping and so on than being stopped in your tracks by the sight of a lovely painting? By the drama of a scene, the skill of the brushwork, the colours and vivid imagery? No me neither. So let us know what you suggest – what painting would you like to see on display in Nottingham and where?