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Donna Coleman

While walking in Hyde Park in Leeds I saw some amazing graffiti on a large wall and a few curious looking arrows that had been spraypainted on the path. Although they most probably were just painted by the council they looked like marks on the way to a secret location … It made me think about how people often write on walls, trees and other objects in public spaces just to tell total strangers they were here, to mark an event or hold onto a memory, a sign that stands for them when they are no longer present even if no one can decode their meaning later…

'Not a Memorial Bench', Leeds 2013. Photograph by Donna Coleman.

‘Not a Memorial Bench’, Leeds 2013. Photograph by Donna Coleman.

At St George’s Field park there is a long pathway made of old headstones. I have never seen this kind of thing before. It unnerved me walking over these stones, as I felt disrespectful to walk on something that is meant to be a memorial. They are very aesthetically pleasing to look at though, so I decided to take a couple of photos. After walking around the park I sat on a bench that was placed on top of more gravestones in a darker area under tall trees. These stones had cracks and bird droppings on them, they weren’t pretty or pleasing at all, I felt a mournful greyness … the simple bench had been bolted quite aggressively to them which made them look sad. It was opposite of the memorial benches you often see in parks and other public places. This did not feel like a memorial at all, just a functional object …

'Hidden', Leeds 2013. Photograph by Donna Coleman

‘Hidden’, Leeds 2013. Photograph by Donna Coleman

It is hard to work out if this half-hidden bike is wanted or not. At first glance it looks abandoned, old and unused. Just shoved to the bottom of the garden out of the way. On closer inspection however I saw that it has been attached to what looks like a black metal bar, secured and safe. I wonder why the owner keeps her bike in this abandoned looking place. Maybe she can no longer ride it but kept it for sentimental reasons … something that is out of the way but still close enough for remembering of good and bad times …

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