Monday, June 2, 2014

beauty becomes a guardsman

do you know what this is?

this is a hydro box....
also known as electrical transformer or utility box.

it is grey (sometimes green), it is boxy, it is plain, it is ugly...
they are everywhere in the city.

however, victoria, 
one of the most beautiful locations on the west coast of canada
is upping its beauty quotient.

these hydro boxes are being transformed into 
works of art, history and beauty !!!

as i walk around streets in our neighbourhood , 
i can't help but stop and look at these gorgeous boxes.

the city has taken these plain
hydro transformers and have livened them up 
with ocean scenes, historical photos, and pictures of nature.

the beautification of these boxes bring art and colour to local streets
thus enhancing the visual aesthetic throughout the city.
they've prioritized boxes that are on busy corners and main arteries of traffic.

by wrapping some boxes with historical photographs, 
the public gets some education in history while promoting
a sense of pride in the location's vibrant past.

the boxes below are taken from the 
windsor pavillion in oakbay and from fisherman's wharf.

furthermore, by encasing these boxes with beauty,
the intention is to discourage graffiti by eliminating
'blank canvases' available to vandals.

the logic goes.. the elimination of graffiti, decreases the sense of corruption, thus 
 increases the sense of public safety.

these boxes are specially coated so that any graffiti could be 
wiped clean with a rag and rubbing alcohol.

i think this is not only beautiful, it is brilliant !!!
imagine, using beauty and art to increase pride and 
to guard against corruption, and destruction of public property.

studies have also shown that beautification curbs littering and tax defiance...
i'm  guessing people don't mind paying their taxes if they're property values are protected...
(as an aside... victoria's property taxes are one of the highest in canada.)

mmm....maybe it's not so brilliant after all.

if you spot these boxes in their locations, 
you will notice how some of them complement their surroundings.

sometimes, you might miss them completely 
because they are almost camouflaged.

i had so much fun taking these photos because, once i started noticing them, 
i found them everywhere.
each of them are unique, i haven't seen a duplicate of one yet.  

the downside of this project is that 
when i spot a utility box that hasn't been wrapped, 
a sense of disappointment, a sense of sadness comes over me...

but not for long...  
because the wrappers are doing their magic just around the corner and 
more and more boxes become part of the street gallery.


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