Today the art of drawing, painting or writing on walls is known as ‘street art’. In the past it was called graffiti or murals. Whatever name we use, whatever the technique used by the artist to decorate a public area, all such artworks have one thing in common – they seek to convey an idea, an emotion or a state of mind. In many towns in Sardinia there is a vast amount of street art, true open-air masterpieces gifted to us by the talents of the artists, some famous, some completely unknown.
In these towns the walls serve as a collective memory for the community, expressing the personality and character of the people. In explosions of colour we can find scenes of hard work in the fields, parties, great figures of local culture like Maria Carta (singer-songwriter) and Grazia Deledda (writer) (in Montresta and Oristano respectively), bronze nuragic figures, launeddas (a traditional Sardinian woodwind instrument) players, starry skies, bookcases (Lanusei, Nuoro) and butterflies, but also pictures of Goofy and Mickey Mouse (in Tinnura and Oristano), depictions of political or social events, and copies of famous paintings like Picasso’s Guernica (Orgosolo, Nuroro). There is also poetry in simple black and white (Urzulei, Nuoro).
But it doesn’t stop there. There are seascapes (Costa Rey, Cagliari), depictions of laundry stretched out in the sun, juicy ripe peaches, children playing (San Sperate, Cagliari), religious processions on horseback (Cossoine, Sassari), scenes from the everyday life of men and women (Cheremule, Sassari), and much, much more.
Those who examine these artworks are rewarded with extra details others might have missed: windows that open, hands that wave, mouths that speak – imaginary lives that, in their way, will be with you forever.
Images from http://bit.ly/Rk4LiL and Sardinia Digital Library