art off the rails

September 04, 2016

" abnormal manner, especially a manner that causes damage or malfunctioning. Insane. Off the intended path. Out of control.

"If someone has gone off the rails, they have lost track of reality. To start behaving strangely or in a way that is not acceptable to society.

"From the derailment of a locomotive."

graffiti art okanagangraffiti art okanagangraffiti art okanagan

Wherever you go, there is something synonymous with graffiti and the railroad. Those rather neglected industrialised spaces. And just as nature quickly reclaims them, so too are humans pulled to put their stamp of ownership on them also.

With admiration of this innate bold and expressive form of art I was quick to take up the challenge posed by this year’s Art Walk theme and set about seeking examples of this juxtaposition. This Art Off the Rails.

For me I do not see it as necessarily vandalism or something negative per se. For sure there is lots of tagging and negative language connected with it, but also there is lots of really awesome artwork that is truly inspiring and that provokes dialogue. Street art breaks the bounds of what is so called 'acceptable' which in many cases falls into a very narrow box of appropriateness and conservatism. That it (art) has to happen or be displayed in certain sanctioned places. That only certain folks can be ‘artists’.

Of course none of this is actually true. The art I prefer pushes the boundaries. Makes you feel uncomfortable even. I like to witness art in public and unexpected spaces. And I like my art to be transitory. That it is never permanent. For again, there is some kind of nicety that kind of misses the point of artistic expression to me. That sense of expressing a moment, an idea.

And so it always delights me to see this display of rebellion, this burst of colour, shape and texture in an otherwise sea of muted shades.

graffiti art okanagangraffiti art okanagan

In the end I did not get to use my findings in the way I had hoped. Maybe next time... All the same and maybe just the slightest because of this, I am sharing a selection of my favourites here in my own corner of the ether'verse.

The topic of graffiti brings up a bunch of debate and conflict of opinion surrounding its appearance and culture. How do you feel about this free form of expression? Good, bad? Not art? An eye sore or visual delight? Vandalism or a reclamation of public spaces?

:: BEKA ::

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with your friends using an option below. Thank you for your support.

You May Also Enjoy


  1. I feel the same way you do about the train it. Your photos really capture the energy and magic of it. I think they would make great prints and posters. My favourite is the second one from the end.

    1. I am glad to hear it. Seems my choice was not among the accepted as mentioned above, though my tribe seem to enjoy it very much. Guess we are the rebels, eh?

      Always brightens my day to see the cars roll by on the tracks with their embellished sides. Makes something mundane into something much more interesting... Urban alchemy...

      I agree with making them prints + that was kind of my intention. I can certainly work something out for you if you like. I would be glad to :)