“Chalk poetry demonstrating the impermanence of thought as it interacts with spaces & highlights the unseen patterns & shapes in everyday pavements.”
A few weeks ago, wandering down Albion Street in Leeds, I came across the ‘Pavement Poet’.
I saw his work before I saw him. Pastel shapes suddenly appeared at my feet and the pavement was bright with colour.
I halted and looked. Stanzas were stretching on for several metres. Treading carefully, I read.
The man himself moved quickly and ferociously, verse in coloured chalk streaming from his fingers without pause: “for four whole years i’ve wandered / through sun and rain i’ve roamed/ my feet both wet and blistered / my paths of rock and stone.”
Many people were mesmerised, standing on the edges of the unusual oeuvre and muttering excitedly. Others seemed quite annoyed, pausing for a moment before walking briskly on.
For me, it was sudden, unexpected and lovely to behold. I know that artistic expression in public places can be controversial, but this was no graffiti or lewd and inflammatory defacement. Besides, the medium ensures that it washes away with the rain (and there is no shortage of it in Yorkshire…)
The Pavement Poet travels around England. You can follow the jaunt via his Facebook page or simply keep your eyes peeled in busy, pedestrian shopping areas!