Lifeline - 70 201 201 (Livslinien 70 201 201)
Painting by Urban DK, spray on caravan - 1999.
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Livslinien - 04
KIK, Carnival in Copenhagen, has gradually shrunk so much, that Fælledparken on its own is big enough to host all the participants. The organization Lifeline had a stand here. The organization Lifeline is a hotline for people who are suicidal. In relation to "Culture City '96" I was part of an action group in which I, among other things, painted the graffiti piece "OrganIC", which can be found on this website. One of the artist from the group worked for the Lifeline and she contacted me, to ask if I would paint a caravan for them. The caravan was a leftover that had been used by the construction workers while they build the bridge over Oresund to Sweden. In other words: It's condition was extremely poor. Therefore the Lifeline would like to have it decorated, in order to present themselves nicely at the carnival. A sign painter would have demanded 'a mansion' to do the job and since the Lifeline is a small, idealistic project without a lot of money, they asked me, if I could paint it for free and they asked the paint shop at Vennemindevej if they could pay for the cans - they said yes! I agreed to paint the caravan if they covered my expenses. They also promised, that I'd might end up in television on channel "TV-Danmark", which I also did (in approx. 20 sec.), but I've never seen it myself.

Of course The Lifeline didn't want me to paint the caravan in gloomy colors and they didn't want letters either. I wanted to paint without outlines and I also wanted to try to get all the sides of the caravan to work together as one graffiti piece. Especially because the four sides of the caravan I painted last year were so different, that the overall impression of the caravan was a bit messy.

I wished to paint something that would send a signal of what the Lifeline represents: Something to get people to see the positive sides of life again. At the same time I was a bit worried that it would end up looking like a big circus, if everything had to be in happy colors and with an atmosphere of gosh-we-are-just-sooo-happy-and-everything-is-just-totally-great! Therefore, as you can see in the photo above, the happy colors receded into the background. I wanted to use the heart as a symbol of the love for life, which the Lifeline helps people to find and the two blue men in their working suits as metaphors for the fact that you have to work hard to end a life crisis and get back on your feet again. Finally I chose to use silver and black to symbolize depression, pessimism and chaos.

If you wonder why I've chosen to show 6 pictures of the caravan, it's because I want to show that I actually think I've managed to make all the sides of the caravan fit together into one single graffiti piece! As mentioned earlier, in relation to the caravan I painted in 1998, it's a challenge to keep the windows free while covering the entire surface and still end up with one coherent painting.

Luckily it was only the two windows in the ends that I wasn't allowed to paint.

If you don't really get what the two blue men are up to, then I can tell you that they are window cleaners. They symbolize outlook on life, that the Lifeline will try to help people to see things clear again! One of them is working with the scraper and the other is using the fungus.

It's the year of 1999; 6 years after Tabu (danish graffiti writer) tragically committed suicide, and the year where Neus (danish graffiti writer) deliberately ended his own life too - R.I.P.

Senest opdateret 23-06-2010 12:55 af ABJ