While at work today, I stumbled across an article by the Telegraph on creativity, which you can click here to read. Listening to the featured podcast, I was amazed to learn of an art project which took place in 2014 Liverpool; more specifically, in the poorest neighbourhood in the country, Toxteth. In the immediate area, only 1 in 10 houses are inhabited.
One night in the summer, on a quiet street in this deprived area, the shutters on a derelict shop began to mechanically wind up, for the first time in years. As the shutter rose, blue light spilled out from the shop, bathing the street. The shutter finished its ascent and clicked into place, and silence reclaimed the streets, illuminated in the shimmering blue light emanating from within the abandoned shop.
After a while the first person, out for an evening stroll, passed the window and paused, their face lit up. In front of them, completely filling the shop front, was a vast tank containing 250 living jellyfish, silently drifting and pulsating in the light. The lone walker didn’t know how to react, first watching, then taking a photo, then checking the news, then calling friends. After a while, the shutter wound down again, and the blue light was gone.
The shutters continued to open every evening on High Park Street, and with each passing evening more people gathered outside the shop, ready for the jellyfish to reveal themselves. It wasn’t long before the shutter rose and the jellyfish were met with hundreds of wonder filled eyes.
This isn’t a scene from Harry Potter, it’s an art installation designed by artists Walter Hugo & Zoniel, called The Physical Possibility of Inspiring Imagination in the Mind of Somebody Living. The project was, as is evident from the title, designed simply to inspire. There were no profits to be made; no branded PR stunt behind the scenes. The installation was set up to allow people to lose themselves in uninhibited, childlike wonder, just for a few minutes.