When it comes to sacred sites, or places of unspoilt natural beauty or archaeological interest, I totally agree. At wells and springs, there is a real problem with people leaving plastic offerings or nylon fabric clouties. They don't biodegrade and are not in keeping with the ancient traditions of most of these places. Volunteers have to remove them to stop them damaging trees through their weight and constricting bindings.this environmentally minded wall painting. I also don't have a problem about people attaching things to railings where it is permitted by the owners, or putting whatever art or offerings they like in their own gardens, so long as it won't harm wildlife.
So, what about these painted rocks? They are at the edge of a Tarmac path in a public park, which is semi-urban. The park is a wetland habitat for birds and plants, but it is also a much-loved community asset. During lockdown, it is where many local residents would go for their daily walks. These rocks started appearing at that time. I suspect they were partly a way for people to communicate with others when they weren't allowed to meet up for face-to-face gatherings. They were also a way for people to express their love of the NHS, wishes for everyone to stay safe, and some remembrances of loved ones who had passed, as well as presumably a craft to occupy kids stuck at home.
The park itself is somewhere I like to visit when I'm allowed to travel for weekends away, but it isn't near my home so I haven't been there for a while. Now regulations have eased, I'm planning a trip to that area soon, and I will go for a walk in the park. I wonder whether the painted rocks will still be there. Maybe there will be more of them, or maybe someone will have removed them, thinking they are litter.
But what do you think? Is this form of urban art a dangerous hazard, an act of vandalism, a eyesore, or a crafting project that brings joy to many and harms none? Do leave a comment.
The photos are all copyright Lucya Starza.