As part of the George Town Festival, gardener designers and artists have been busy transforming the streetscape of the city with plants, murals and installations.
Move over Hieronymus Bosch, George Town has its own Gardens of Earthly Delights now. A number of pop-up gardens are opening as the Festival progresses. Don’t miss the Firefl y Bridge next to the Town Hall and all the wonderful installations and murals in Armenia – the area around Armenia Street.
Up In The Air
Glass artist Fuan Wong has hung air plants on a nondescript steel archway in a public alley behind Armenian Street. It creates shade and a feeling that the area is being cared for. He has also planted several patches of grass in unexpected places which makes the area cool and green.
This refreshing landscape was conceived by Vin, a graduate of Penang’s Equator Academy of Art, now based in Singapore. He has transformed an old drain into a grassy channel of plants: lalang, cat whiskers, angel flowers, reeds and other willowy plants. These camouflage strategically placed fibre-optic lights that light up at night, transforming the site into an imaginary river scene.
The Ipoh-based urban explorer and greenie Alex Lee has created a kitchen garden in an abandoned
building at 41 Weld Quay. Using re-cycled materials in the main, Ah Soh’s Place is an oasis of green and shade on a hot and busy street. You can even pluck some of the spices, which he has thoughtfully labelled, and eat them for your dinner.
Anyone For Fishing?
British-born artist Adam Michalski has made a wonderful urban retreat out of a unused corner at the back of Armenian Street. He has created a mosaic fish pond where visitors can fish for ceramic koi while they chill out or wait for a bus. Bamboo fishing rods have been provided but sad to say most of them have been taken away.
The Love Garden
Cassandra Chilton has transformed a graffiti-covered alleyway leading off Love Lane into a marvellous play on the shadows created by steel shutters. The turquoise patterns lead your eyes and your feet on the mysterious climax of the garden.
Cats Lost and Found
This project aims to raise awareness of the plight of abandoned and stray cats. Thai artist Natthapon Muangkliang has joined with Malaysian artists Louise Low and Tang Yeok Khang to create a series of eleven cat murals in the Armenian Street/Victoria Street area ranging in size from the monumental to the microscopic.
A Plea For Care
In a small alleyway two adorable kittens ask for care and baths. The former seems likely, the latter less likely as cats are known to be averse to water.
I Am Just A Star!
They’re only paper cut-outs, but I’m real, this cat seems to be saying.
Cat & Mouse
So far so good until… an unknown graffitist added a giant mouse
Source: Penang International August/September 2013
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