Travel theme: Art

One of the things I love most about art is how it can restore the spirit, and nowhere is this more needed than in the New York subway. Commuting via subway can be arduous at the best of times, and the dead heat of summer is not the best of times. While the subway trains themselves are usually pleasantly air-conditioned, the platforms and tunnels develop a unique microcosm that resembles a urinal…in a sauna…that is located approximately 3 miles from the surface of the sun. Tempers fray as commuters, sweat glistening from their brows, elbow each other out of the way to get off the platforms and out of the tunnels as quickly as possible.

It was on just such a day that I got a little lost on the way to Penn Station. I usually enter the station from street level, but this time, I got off at the 34th Street A/C/E station and absentmindedly followed a sign for Penn Station that led to one of those dreaded tunnels. It was quite empty – presumably because everyone else had wisely opted to get outside as quickly as possible. As I forged on, wondering how long it would take for me to go down with heatstroke, I rounded a corner and was greeted by a Garden of Circus Delights. No, it wasn’t a mirage, it was a fabulous glass mosaic by artist Eric Fischl, adorning the walls of the tunnel leading towards Penn Station.

subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station

The series of mosaics tell the story of a commuter who gets magically drawn into the weird and wacky world of the circus on his way to work. You follow his circus adventures as you travel along the tunnel, and at the end, he re-emerges, surrounded by white, still a commuter but somehow transformed.

subway art new york 34th penn station

Off we go!

subway art new york 34th penn station   subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station  subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station    subway art new york 34th penn station

subway art new york 34th penn station  subway art new york 34th penn station

While I wasn’t exactly transformed by the time I reached Penn Station, my spirits were definitely restored.

Art can be interpreted in so many different ways, I’d love to see your take on the theme.

If you’d like to join in, create your own post between now and next Friday, title it “Travel theme: Art” and put a link to this page in your blog post to make it easy for others to find your post.  Don’t forget to check back in next Friday for a new travel theme.

Have you had a memorable encounter with art in some shape or form?

xxx Ailsa

About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - wheresmybackpack.com - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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198 Responses to Travel theme: Art

  1. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art | The World Is a Book…

  2. Amy says:

    Here is my contribution to the theme: http://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/travel-theme-art/ Thank you for the cool idea, Ailsa!

  3. Hi kids … been away for a bit, but now I’m back! LOVE this challenge, and here’s my take:
    http://stephenkellycreative.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/ailsas-travel-theme-art/

  4. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art | Lucid Gypsy

  5. Gilly Gee says:

    Fabulous mosaic, so much work involved to create them. I’m afraid I’ve been a little irreverent by taking a rather highbrow subject and distinctly lowering the tone 🙂
    http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/travel-theme-art/

    • ailsapm says:

      Gilly, you rascal, this is hysterical, caught me totally unawares mid-sip of my coffee – I nearly drowned laughing!

  6. Pingback: Happy Birthday celebrations for my nephew. | Anotherdayinparadise2's Blog

  7. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art « Healthcare Updates

  8. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art | Eluding Ennui

  9. Pingback: travel theme: art « a nomad in the land of nizwa

  10. Hi Ailsa, I love your glass mosaics in the New York Subway. This art must really be refreshing especially in the setting as you describe it! What a welcome relief!

    Here is mine from Oman. Not exactly street art as for some reason I don’t find that here. 🙂
    http://catbirdinoman.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/travel-theme-art/

    • ailsapm says:

      Really beautiful, Cathy, thanks for sharing some stunning examples of Omani art. I agree, those headscarves are works of art themselves. So beautiful. And yes, that mosaic was definitely a welcome relief in the confines of the subway tunnels. 🙂

  11. I am a poor unfortunate, I haven’t travelled!! Sob! However, I am offering a post, not so much about the photo, or artwork, which is my own, but the message. I hope it is acceptable and applicable http://wp.me/p2jE0a-hC

    • ailsapm says:

      That is a fantastic drawing of elephants, Charlene, so cool! Here’s my approach to travel – you don’t have to leave home to experience the world as a traveller – I’ve never been to your part of the world, so if you have places in your neighbourhood you want to share, do it – that way, if I ever get to where you are, I’ll know the great places to go, because of you! 🙂 xxx Ailsa

  12. Rosa says:

    this is real wonderful
    Doubt it that I would ever get there – so enjoyed it through your lens

  13. polly says:

    love all your shots
    here is mine for this week
    http://pollysspace.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/travel-theme-art/

  14. Pingback: travel theme: art « whatever a moon has always meant

    • ailsapm says:

      Wow, it’s huge, how far does it stretch? The detail is extraordinary – I can’t imagine the amount of work that must have gone into its creation.

  15. Pingback: Travel theme: Art | One step at a time

  16. dema1497 says:

    Hi Ailsa, this is my contribution on this week travel theme 🙂 enjoy…
    http://demaodyssey.com/2012/07/02/travel-theme-art/

  17. Pingback: Travel theme: Art | Anotherdayinparadise2's Blog

  18. Pingback: Stepping On Masterpieces « The Urge To Wander

    • ailsapm says:

      Your sis is definitely a gifted artist, and I’m so intrigued with her days at D’Oyly Carte and her page three appearance. What a life she’s lived. 🙂

  19. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art – Ybor City « Inside the Mind of Isadora

  20. Great photos – they remind me of what I decided to post. It was difficult having as much art as I have but I wanted to bring some travel into it. Hope you and others enjoy – Thanks, Ailsa for these challenges.
    Toodles,
    Isadora
    http://insidethemindofisadora.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/travel-theme-art-ybor-city/

  21. A cool and adventurous way to escape the sizzling Summer heat.Beautiful images!!!

  22. fiztrainer says:

    Here’s my contribution to the challenge: http://serendipityplus.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/travel-theme-art/
    Thanks for the opportunity! 😀

  23. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art « weird & cool stuff seen while out & about

  24. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art « East of Málaga

  25. Marianne says:

    Hi Ailsa – I have been encouraged by CanadianTravelBugs to join in with your Photo Challenge. It´s my first time here, so I hope my contribution is worthy. Thanks for the challenge. 🙂
    http://eastofmalaga.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/travel-theme-art/

  26. Pingback: travel theme: art « The journey is the destination. You carry your journey with you.

  27. monument to the unknown washer women and other art in Luxembourg:
    http://wp.me/p18B5-xg

  28. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art | My Secret Garden

  29. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art « Follow Abbie

  30. followabbie says:

    A very neat mosaic! I’m jumping back in this week with a photo from Valparaiso, Chile: http://followabbie.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/travel-theme-art/

  31. Pingback: My sisters art. |

  32. Hey there Ailsa,

    Love the mosaic! Here’s my art photo:

    http://weirdandcoolstuff.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/travel-theme-art/

    Have a great week,
    Ruth

  33. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art | The Retiring Sort

  34. Wonderful theme, and great mosaics and station art, Ailsa! Sometimes we find the most lovely things in the least likely places!
    Here’s me for the week: http://theretiringsort.com/2012/07/03/travel-theme-art/

  35. Pingback: Travel Theme: (Street) Art | Autumn in Bruges

  36. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art « Incidentally

  37. Pingback: TRAVEL THEME – ART « Dear Bliary

  38. Well, here’s my take. I do have a request. If anyone knows the blogger that posted the Ken Robinson video in her ART post, please let me know. I’d like to credit her for the video. Thanks. Enjoy. http://firstandfabulous.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/travel-theme-art/

  39. Pingback: Travel Theme: Art | Beyond the Brush

  40. Lynne Ayers says:

    What a marvelous use of what would otherwise be dreary wall space. It must give a lift just walking by it. Here is my contribution http://lynneayersbeyondthebrush.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/travel-theme-art/

  41. 4otomo says:

    Hi! Ailsa, great mosaics, they add so much to what really can be quite a mundane space. Perhaps not as glamorous as your mosaics my post is about grafffitti of another kind… 🙂 completely natural, the question is…..but is it ART??……….. 🙂
    http://4otomo.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/weekly-photo-challenge-textured/

  42. Jeff Sinon says:

    What a wonderful find. Would definitely make the time in the tunnel worth the heat and sweat. Plus, you captured it very well.

    • ailsapm says:

      I love this, Gilly, how long ago did you visit? Incredibly inspiring. Thanks for letting us know about SWOPA and showing us some of the spectacular artwork. xxx

  43. Pingback: Travel theme: Art | Ingset's Blog

  44. Inge says:

    Hi, Ailsa…

    This is my first time to participate in your Weekly Travel Themes and here’s my entry:

    http://godslover.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/travel-theme-art/

    Thanks for creating this weekly challenge. 🙂

  45. I think I’ve walked through that same tunnel! 🙂 Great artwork and great photos. Here’s mine from my other blog: http://doubledallabouttown.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/travel-theme-art/

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