They Went to Sea

They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day,
In a Sieve they went to sea!

below: The artist, Jola Kudela, aka Yola, at work on “They Went to Sea” on Cleveland Street in Doncaster. The mural was part of Doncaster’s ArtBomb22 an experimental arts festival.

The artist Jola Kudela with another person helping, painting a mural

“The poem speaks about a group of Jumblies who went on a journey to discover the world in the least suitable vessel, a sieve. It’s a story of a group of people who abandon the old status quo in search of something new. It can be interpreted as a metaphor for the migration movements around the world in pursuit of a better life.” — YOLA

below: The finished mural.  It was painted with the help of the Yorkshire-based creative production team Art of Protest Projects, led by Jeff Clark and Tom Jackson.

a group of artists posing together on a lift that has been used to paint a mural high on a brick wall

Accompanying the mural is a video, a short film with the same title, “They Went to Sea” (link) that is available online. In addition, a QR code on the mural triggers the video which features the dance company Fertile Ground in a performance choreographed by Malgosia Dzierzon.

below: A still from the video. Dancers move in a symbolic sea to music composed by Julia Kent as Edward Lear’s poem is recited. The words become part of the music which in turn echos the waves and the movement of the water.

A video of the July 2022 unveiling of the mural is on you tube.

a group of people in a large open area, one wall is a brick building with a large mural on it of people standing in waves of water

Financial support was provided by the Polish Cultural Institute.

*****

The pictures used in this blog post were taken by Jeff Clark and were sent to me by the mural artist, Jola Kudela.

*****

Edward Lear’s “The Jumblies”

They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea:
In spite of all their friends could say,
On a winter’s morn, on a stormy day,
In a Sieve they went to sea!
And when the Sieve turned round and round,
And every one cried, ‘You’ll all be drowned!’
They called aloud, ‘Our Sieve ain’t big,
But we don’t care a button! we don’t care a fig!
In a Sieve we’ll go to sea!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed away in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they sailed so fast,
With only a beautiful pea-green veil
Tied with a riband by way of a sail,
To a small tobacco-pipe mast;
And every one said, who saw them go,
‘O won’t they be soon upset, you know!
For the sky is dark, and the voyage is long,
And happen what may, it’s extremely wrong
In a Sieve to sail so fast!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

The water it soon came in, it did,
The water it soon came in;
So to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet
In a pinky paper all folded neat,
And they fastened it down with a pin.
And they passed the night in a crockery-jar,
And each of them said, ‘How wise we are!
Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long,
Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong,
While round in our Sieve we spin!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And all night long they sailed away;
And when the sun went down,
They whistled and warbled a moony song
To the echoing sound of a coppery gong,
In the shade of the mountains brown.
‘O Timballo! How happy we are,
When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar,
And all night long in the moonlight pale,
We sail away with a pea-green sail,
In the shade of the mountains brown!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,
To a land all covered with trees,
And they bought an Owl, and a useful Cart,
And a pound of Rice, and a Cranberry Tart,
And a hive of silvery Bees.
And they bought a Pig, and some green Jack-daws,
And a lovely Monkey with lollipop paws,
And forty bottles of Ring-Bo-Ree,
And no end of Stilton Cheese.
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

And in twenty years they all came back,
In twenty years or more,
And every one said, ‘How tall they’ve grown!’
For they’ve been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone,
And the hills of the Chankly Bore;
And they drank their health, and gave them a feast
Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast;
And everyone said, ‘If we only live,
We too will go to sea in a Sieve,
To the hills of the Chankly Bore!’
Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.

Kobra on 10th Avenue

in Manhattan NY

There are two large colourful murals on 10th Avenue that were painted by Eduardo Kobra. Both are visible from the High Line, Manhattan’s elevated park.

below: Mother Teresa and Gandhi as seen from the High Line

view of 10th Avenue in Manhattan from the High Line park, including a Kobra mural of Mother Teresa and Gandhi

and then closer up, face to face, respectful, hopeful

a digger is parked on the street in front of a building with a mural on the upper level, a painting of Mother Teresa and Gandhi face to face, in many colours, by Kobra

below: A hint of a second mural – Andy Warhol can be spotted between two buildings.

glimpse of a mural with portrait of Andy Warhol in the background, seen in a gap between two taller brick buildings

below: Above the Empire Diner in West Chelsea is this mural inspired by the carvings on Mount Rushmore, a re-imagining of it if you will. Instead of four American presidents there are four famous artists – Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Mt Rushmore theme mural by Kobra with multi coloured portraits of four famous people, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Keith Haring and another famous artist, Jean Michel Basquiat

Photos taken October 2022

rue Mouffetard

This large mural, ‘Cecile’s House’, painted by SETH adorns the side of a school on rue Mouffetard (at rue Saint-Medard)

large mural painted by seth on the end of a row of buildings on rue Mouffetard in Paris, a girl with a ponytail is drawing a simple box-like building with different coloured crayons.

A small painting by the same artist is on the school gate, beside an upright grey and blue rabbit (un lapin gris et bleu!).

mural by seth on a gate, two kids, a boy and a girl kneeling face to face with heads joined together.

Also on rue Moufftarde are two whimsical pieces by Oji

red storefront, librairie (book store) with a small mural painted on the wall beside it, a painting by Oji of an older grey haired person with a cane spray painting something on a wall, and a younger man with a yellow bird on his head and pulling a wagon, watching.

Never underestimate the grey haired people!

a painting by Oji of an older grey haired person with a cane spray painting something on a wall, and a younger man with a yellow bird on his head and pulling a wagon, watching.

Oji is amember of Lezarts de la Bievre, a collective of Paris street artists.

a mural of a man walking with a large paper folded sailboat around his middle and carrying a long paddle, and a younger boy above him with a hat caught on a fishing hook

nous amour sens reve – four little words – we love meaning dream, mix and match to your heart’s content.

four little pieces of 3 D graffiti high on a wall, a small yellow octopus, a bright green skull, a red heart made of small tiles, and a crossword puzzle made of tiles with four words, amour, nous, sen, and reve

Photos taken June 2022

rue de Croulebarbe

In the 13th arrond. of Paris, on rue de Croulebarbe, there is one segment of wall covered with street art.

concrete wall on rue de Coulebarbe, about 8 feet tall, with some street art on it

below: Unfortunately Chloe’s name has been added on top of this mural by Titomulk, a pair of French artists. It hides some of the intricate black and white details, as well as some of the text, of the “Insania Cultura” mural. A singer with her microphone, a portrait of Van Gogh, a book with the title “Knowledge is Power”, a Spiderman mask, and a very naked man. “Si vous trouvez [illegible] culture, coute cher, essayez l’ignorance” translates to ‘If you find culture too expensive, try ignorance.’

below: Painted to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of “The Kid”, a silent movie starring Charlie Chaplin, by Sweb and Sonia O.

black and white street art painting, portrait of Charlie Chaplin, also a female actress, border is film with sprocket holes

below: A Mr. Myl creation – text and a toothy purple guy with a white nose ring, greenery, and barbed wire

mr myl text street art with purpe headed character, big teeth white nose ring,

below: Five black and white portraits of women with red text, “Hey Heroes, I will be your Queen”.

street art painted portraits in black and white, 5 women

zirco fish

In an alley near Dovercourt and Queen West in Toronto are two garage door murals unlike any others.

below: ‘Elephancy’ by Zirco Fish – It’s an elephant but it’s not. Tusks like an elephant and the ears seem to be big a floppy. But the mouth is like a beak and the eyes are certainly not those of an elephant. A crazy fantastical creature, the product of someone’s imagination.

a street art mural on a garage door, rust coloured wood garage.  Image looks like an elephant
mural on a grage door, another garage door that has been tagged, graffiti on a fence, the back of a house, in a lane.

below: ‘Scrat Attack’ by Zirco Fish. 

mural of a cat head, in memory of Scrat, painted by James Zirco Fisher, on a garage door in an alley

music in the park

There is a large mural on the the side of a school beside a small park (Ernst Lichtblau Park) and playground near the intersection of Einsiedlergasse and Siebenbrunnengasse. Because of the size of the mural as well as all the trees, playground equipment, and caged soccer field in front it, a proper picture of the whole mural was impossible. Instead, I have a series of photos taken from the musician playing the electric guitar depicted on the right to the different instruments on the left.

a woman with a red cap on her head is playing an electric guitar, in a mural on the side of a school in Vienna.

The mural was painted by El Jerrino, a Vienna based artist.

music theme mural on the side of a school by a park in Vienna on Einsiedlergasse
large acoustic guitar in mural on side of school painted by El Jerrino
mural in Ernst Lichtblau Park in Vienna, guitar and mandolin, with playground equipment in front of it
swing set in a playground with mural on the school wall behind, musical instruments in the mural painted by El Jerrino

left hand end of a mural with music theme, red slash as background to older types of instruments

Ain’t I A Woman?

This mural can be seen in Kingston NY.

Written in circles around the woman on the left are lines of poetry by Mahogany L. Browne

“you black girl magic
you black girl flyy
you black girl brilliance
you black girl wonder
you black girl shine
you black girl bloom
And you turning into a
beautiful black woman
right before they eyes”

The screen on the phone shows the portrait of another Black Woman, Sojourner Truth. The words written around her head are from a speech that she gave at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio in 1851. Over one hundred and fifty years ago. Sojourner Truth was calling on Black women, and all women, to fight for the right to vote. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave women that right but that didn’t come into being until 1920.

In a lot of ways, Sojourner Truth’s words ring true today. Has there ever been a time when women weren’t fighting for their rights in one way or another? The text:

“that man over there said women need to be helped into carriages and carried over ditches.
nobody ever helped me over a ditch or lifted me into a carriage
AND AIN’T I A WOMAN?
look at me! look at my arm!
I have ploughed, harvested and sowed and planted and gathered into barns, and no man could head me!
AND AIN’T I A WOMAN?
I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear trash as well.
AND AIN’T I A WOMAN?
I have born thirteen children, seen most all off to slavery and when I cried in my mothers grief no one but jesus heard me!
AND AIN’T I A WOMAN?
the first woman god ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn back and get right back up again!”

The mural was painted by Jess Snow and jetsonorama as part of the O+ Festival

Photos taken in July 2022

faded Blu

below: Looking across al. Jana Pawlla II in central Warsaw.

It was twelve years ago, 2010, that Italian artist Blu painted this large mural.

There are lots of soldiers going through the motions of war and combat but they are all being controlled by strings. Their green helmets have holes in the top to make room for the string.

The picture below clearly shows the puppet strings controlling the actions of the larger than life sized men. Strings on the tops of their heads as well as around the hands and feet.

Another piece of the puzzle fits into place – the symbol on the helmet is that of the euro. Money. What wars are fought over. Capitalism. What pits one group of people against another. Agree? or disagree?