Quarantine

Me, quarantine, street art, no grey walls

Never take anything for granted, the age old saying goes. It might go that way but I can’t think of a time when I truly felt that the saying had any meaning in my life.

If truth be told, these past few months have seen me become less and less interested in going out and taking photos of street art. My interest in street art certainly isn’t waning I know that much. I still spend an obscene amount of time looking at photos on Instagram and reading other street art blogs. I still see that certain artists are painting in my city and I still have that itch to run down and see the wall before it invariably disappears. But that desire, the desire to get out there everyday, to hit all the spots and see what’s up… it’s disappearing, not quite fully but I know it’s going.

I have been trying to think of why that is. Is it the change of artists in Barcelona? When I first started hitting the streets the level of work I was seeing on a daily basis was incredibly high. That level has dropped off a bit in my opinion but it’s been like this for a while so why the lack of urge now?

Is it because the council keep selling all the space where most of the legal walls are, giving artists even less places to paint in the city? Maybe, I know that the wall situation angers me and that I have a tendency to allow these things to defeat me and get me down. Again though,  the wall situation is not exactly new. It’s been like this my five years in the city.

Do I prefer shooting artists as they work as opposed to just turning up and taking shots of a wall that will be seen a hundred times on Instagram? Yep, that’s definitely true, but again, when I am travelling it certainly doesn’t seem to be an issue so why would it be one here?

I’ve racked my brains and I still don’t have a proper answer. Maybe it’s a mix of the things above, maybe it’s just a little fatigue and a desire to do something a little different with my time and energy.  I really want to organise street art/graffiti events here and I want to spend more of my time shooting artists as they work on the street or in the studio. There’s a million things I want to do to be honest.

But you know what, after writing all of those 390 words? The only thing I want to do is go out and take photos of street art and graff in my city. I miss it so badly. The metro rides, the long walks, being too late to see the wall, the shade destroying so many fucking photos. I miss all of it.

Never take anything for granted huh… don’t I know it.

Published by nogreywalls

Lewis Duncan aka No Grey Walls is a Scottish street art lover/photographer/blogger based in Barcelona.

3 thoughts on “Quarantine

  1. You’ll be pleased to know that I completely understand where you are coming from.

    I think that what you are expressing is a confidence and mastery of your game. You don’t have to get down to photograph every piece maybe because you have such a great knowledge already.

    I think that Instagram has put a huge pressure on being first to post things, on being on the ball, in the know. I am never that person, because I only post on Instagram pieces that I have written about on my blog, and my insta stream is usually about 3-4 weeks out of date. I am comfortable with that and remain true to my blog.

    I do miss the high turnover however, and the recent weather, after months of rain, is perfect painting weather, just bloody typical really.

    Yes we take things for granted, but if the joy goes out of it, perhaps a change is due. Organising a festival…how cool would that be?

    1. That’s an interesting pov that I had not thought of, something I am going to give some thought too, I’ve got the time 🙂

      With regards to the Instagram thing, I definitely used to feel a lot of pressure to get the shots posted, keep artists happy, get those likes etc. etc. I haven’t felt that pressure for a long time now though, I feel that I am comfortable enough with my place in the scene. I take photos, I share what I can, when I can, I write about walls & artists who really interest me and I think that artists respect the whole process, whether you shared their wall today or tomorrow or not at all. There are definitely photographers here who have put me off the whole thing with their 60 posts a day and their lack of interest in giving anything back, but each to their own.

      It’s the routine isn’t it? I always think of myself as someone who hates routine, structure etc. but really the routine of going to see this art is something that I crave without even really being aware of it. It’s easier here weather wise but in the UK artists really have to make the most of those sunny days, the pieces that could have been created in this time! Alas, lives are more important than street art haha.

      It would be very cool. I moved a few months ago to an area that I know but don’t know intimately. I’ve been out exploring, came across a few pieces in an abandoned building but also found a few areas with empty walls. The perfect sized walls. So once this is all over I plan on trying to find out who the owners and see if we can organise a little something… it would be small but still, it’s something!

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