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‘Aesthetic values permeate everyday life and ought not to be thought of as the exclusive province of Museums and Concert Halls. Now one way to show this is to emphasize how ‘artful’ everyday objects such as clothing, furniture, utensils, apples and sunsets may be. This is to demonstrate how much like works of art working artifacts or natural objects in our environment are’ (Kupfer, 1983, p1)

Cracking a pothole.

Lonely. Forgotten. Unwanted. A non-object of unintentional movement, rather than substance. A consequence of a chain of actions, an evolution.

An absence of material forms the pothole along the side of the road in Colwick Industrial Estate. A shape sculpted through loose and curvilinear lines which rise and fuse together to create a completely individual form from any other pothole; an elongated, irregular, organic form. No two are the same. Not only is the shape within the road affected but the surrounding road as well showing signs of the pressure under which it has been put, in this case from constant heavy load lorries using the road to get to and from their industrial site. This pressure is shown by the cracks spreading from the central affected area, that being the pothole itself. The cracks travel from the dark chasm which is the pothole joining in areas forming stronger, thicker, more prominent lines and attack the surrounding road surface, weakening it, spreading as a swarm may from one point of power.

Although this image depicts a minimal amount of colour, primarily a dull, muted granite grey, the spectrum in tones is extremely vast ranging from the darkest of grey, sombre, almost black as if charcoal, visible in the pothole itself and the initial surrounding cracks. The lightest tone of grey, a washed out silver, visible in the part of the road farthest away from the nucleus that is the pothole signifies peace and calm in the road escaping the destruction of the forming pothole. Breathing in the dark shadow, the pothole lurks unwanted, uninviting and undesirable but extremely destructive. It slowly takes hold of the road emptying outwards, slithering through it adding to its increasing size, casting a shadow over the road, rotting away the layers akin to mould growing on fruit. All is caused through a ripple effect destroying the road surface not through the pothole itself but the cracks formed as a consequence which burrow through the road surface, pushing the asphalt out of its way continuing the work of the pothole as worker bees do for their queen.

The roads, being man made, are most commonly a layer of asphalt resting on top of a layer of compacted gravel all resting on top of the natural earth. Asphalt naturally being black in colour is faded over time emphasising the constant impact of man upon the surface of the earth. The pothole itself a demonstration of the consequence of man. Not just a consequence through our continual use of the road but through the making of the road initially. As man himself is a living, breathing, growing being so is the road built by his hand, evidence of this in the form of the broken chasms within the road’s structure.

Prose by

Gabriella Mann
Mini Bio
This summer I graduated from Leeds College of Art with a 1st in BA (Hons) Art and Design (Interdisciplinary) and I am currently trying to get myself back involved with the art scene.
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Picture by

Bloomington, IN
Mini Bio
Small moments are the happy moments.