Probably we have all had dark moments since March of this year with the Covid-19 pandemic. To help cheer up Londoners, Sofitel commissioned a new piece of public artwork entitled Silver Lining. Intended as a surrealist piece centred on optimism, several locations set within the St James’s neighbourhood have been reimagined with “shimmering silver ribbons” by LA artist duo Ania Catherine and Dejha Ti, interwoven with a powerful, hope-filled verse from one of the UK’s most exciting young poets, Greta Bellamacina.
According to Bellamacina, “Poetry is like the weather, just when you expect the day to be over, there is always a little bit of sunlight left somewhere close, waiting to surprise you. Hopefully, these words will be a way to bring people closer to that final bit of light and a reminder that hope is closer than you think.”
Greta Bellamancino’s Silver Lining Poem:
Behind the day, the stars chime in candles
Eighty years of a thousand mornings buried in impossible monuments
Something as simple as a smile from a stranger
The rebirth of magic in everyone
The rain cleans the ticks of the wild wind that gets in from time to time
Hold up the puddles like magic and I will swim across for you
Your love is a kingdom of escape rebuilding everything sacred
A passage of hope two colours holding a sunrise the morning leaving the night
We live in the cities but our dreams are wild goats on the side of mountains
Faraway from here there is a bonfire blowing out towards the sea, holding an impossible kind of love that
Hold us throughout our lives
We sit on the steps of renamed stones owning nothing but ideas of new civilisations we will never reach.
Silver Lining presents an artistic walking route that highlights a variety of treasures found within St James’s, renowned for its unparalleled experience of art and craftmanship. The route includes: Waterloo Place: St James’s Market, The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain (commonly known as “The Eros Fountain”) in Piccadilly Circus and Princes Arcade on Jermyn Street. Each location aims to surprise, delight and provide an impactful personal experience for all who see it. Silver Lining is part of Westminster City Council’s Inside Out Festival which offers a range of arts and cultural activities taking place on the streets of Westminster from 1 October.
The coming together of the artists and their mutual creativity exemplifies Sofitel’s Art of Living. Very much a community project, Sofitel recognises the benefit that art provides in fostering happiness and inspiration in a year that has culminated in a collective craving for positivity. MTArt Agency’s expertise in storytelling and creating public art projects with exciting artists that resonate with the local community will encourage visitors to view St James’s in a new and playful manner.
Words: Lavinia Dickson-Robinson