One of my favourite human art forms has to be what I’ve come to call ‘momentary beauty.’ A creation meticulously crafted by an anonymous artist that’s here today and gone tomorrow. A labyrinth carefully laid out in the sand on a beach below the tide line. A stunning piece of back-alley spray-painted graffiti. A mandala sculpture of twigs, leaves and shells at the water’s edge. Concentric circles in fallen leaves surrounding a mother tree.
While the works are all stunning, what makes them even more so is that the artist knew that their creation would be gone in a day or a month. They were living on borrowed time.
As an urban photographer, I know that such works, more often than not, get lost in the visual noise of the city or can only be seen from a certain angle at a particular time of day. A creation that is washed away at the next high tide or is blown away by a gust. A blast of beauty that fades to invisible as the sun dips below the horizon. A splash of clour that is painted over a few days later by the city or a disgruntled shop owner.