Street art has the capacity to touch us and move us when it evokes strong feelings. This is very likely to be the case when this street art image catches your attention, particularly if you take the time to read the tribute to the lady, Michelle.
The words accompanying the artwork highlight that this is not just any street art.It is in fact much more than that. It has been developed in tribute to a woman called Michelle.
As a non-local in this area I've wondered since seeing the art work who Michelle was. She clearly had an impact on the residents for this piece of art work to be developed in the main thoroughfare. I wondered how they knew her, what she did on a day to day basis. I wondered how she would feel knowing that this piece of art work is there to hold her memory alive.
I then begun to think about the incredible power of street art. How it has so many uses. It can be used in so many ways. A way to express feelings. A way to remember. A way to ensure that people are not forgotten. A way to make sure others notice those things are most important.
Perhaps as a society we are now starting to find new ways to share memories, to be more open about death and more willing to participate publicly in the grieving process. We haven't always so openly expressed our thoughts about people who have died. We haven't always known what to do.
Street art might be one way for us to come together.An enabler to assist us to remember, to show respect and to ensure that people are not forgotten. Not forgotten because we don't feel comfortable sharing our grief, our sadness, especially when we don't have the words.
This image, and few words, can help bridge that gap for us. Bring us together, remind us not only of Michelle but of others who we have lost. Help us to find something in common. A bond, a link, a form of expression that is safe yet explicit.