Whimsical hidden things


Greenwich Peninsula, London

The Hayes, Cardiff
I love finding hidden things. Even better if they are adorably tiny pieces of public art. We had been living in Cardiff for about a month already before I thought to take a peek inside one of these bollards on the Hayes. And how exciting to find a tiny story hidden in each one!

So what is my (somewhat tenuous) link to sustainability this time?

I think that public art like this is a really nice way to encourage people to take a moment to discover something about a place that might normally seem mundane. By enabling us to engage with our surroundings in a positive way, we are more likely to care about and therefore take care of public areas. The Living Building Challenge has a beauty petal which recognises the value of public art and design features “intended solely for human delight and the celebration of culture, spirit, and place”. Similarly, one of the principles of the One Planet Living framework is health and happiness – and it certainly made my day a little happier to find these hidden treasures.

(On a less hippy-dippy note, the Greenwich Peninsula piece was actually part of a hoarding around a development under construction. I thought it was a highly effective way of engaging with the passing public and informing them about the development.)

Public art like this provides an excuse and an opportunity to engage with the local environment, and perhaps share the delight it brings with those around you. So next time you are out and about, slow down and keep an eye out for hidden things.

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