Written by Malak Nour
Dear readers, welcome back to Art Bits! For this month’s article, I’d like to point your attention towards an exhibition that is open to the public worldwide. It also doesn’t really require an entry ticket. Perhaps if you walk down the street, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of it, or if you simply open your window…say hello to spring!
All around you, flowers in their multiplicity of shapes and colors start blooming; trees whose leaves have fallen off start growing green again. You’re surrounded by an explosion of beauty and color during this season. If you think about it, spring isn’t merely the season when the weather starts getting warmer, it’s a kind of an exhibition…a natural one. This is not just a happy notion that I came up with, but you can find different countries embracing this notion in their own ways. And you will be able to embrace it in your very own way if you just take the time to appreciate what’s around you…all of it…from the pot of flowers in your balcony that’s just starting to bloom, to the elaborate arrangement of plants in famous parks.
Before going far, let’s start with our own Cairo! Here in the heart of Cairo, there’s the well-known El Orman Garden where you can enjoy seeing a wide variety of flowers in bloom during spring in the annually held Flower Festival, and where you can also buy flowers for your home, office, etc. The 83rd Orman Flower Festival just ended on the 5th of May.
The American University in Cairo has also celebrated the beauty of Spring by asking its students, faculty, and staff to take part of the #AUCinBloom17 competition. An album with all of the beautiful photos that were taken was then uploaded to the university’s Facebook page for the public to enjoy, and the winner was announced just a few days ago.
Moving on to other countries: on Japan’s National Tourism Organization’s website, you can see an entire page devoted to cherry blossoms – Japan’s most widely-known flowers. Both a list and a map are provided with the names of Japanese cities where one can go and watch the famous sakura in bloom (detailed timings are provided, too!).
Another example would be Istanbul’s Metropolitan Municipality Parks and Gardens Directorate which organizes an International Tulips’ Festival during the month of April. When looking up Istanbul’s “Emirgan Park” on TripAdvisor’s website, you can see that commentators specifically recommend going to see the tulips during their month of bloom.
Art is respected by many for its aesthetic value because one of the many purposes of art is clear and straight-forward: inspiring beauty. Most, if not all of us, care in one way or another about decorating our houses, offices, dorm rooms, etc. for no other purpose but to make the place look beautiful. Even the messiest of us appreciates places that are passionately decorated. Decoration can take the form of an elaborate sculpture or an extravagant painting, that of a simple colorful ceramic pot, and also that of a tree of red flowers right outside of one’s bedroom window.
Every year, we’re given the chance to enjoy pops of natural decor all around us during spring. Spring, with its blooming and color, inspires us with its reminder that hope is right around the corner – the same twigs that have seemed dead for months are being reborn; flowers, that have been non-existent, pop out of nowhere with their colors of brightness and vitality.
Take advantage of the season and make sure you contemplate this gallery all around you. Art doesn’t have to be found only in museums, but it can be found all around us if we take the time to appreciate it – literally, if we “stop and smell the roses”.