Before I die I want to…
In April a wall in Union Street, Geelong was transformed. Painted with blackboard paint, the phrase Before I die I want to… was stencilled in 84 neat lines and chalk was left for passers-by to complete the sentence.
And people did. They spelt out their hopes, desires and silly whims in pastel coloured chalk.
From “change someone’s life”, to a poorly spelt “do a nudey run” and the random ‘eat cheese’.
Before I Die originated in New Orleans; its first incarnation on the side of a deserted house. Its creator Candy Chang writes on her webpage about the public art project that she had lost a loved one and consequently was thinking a lot about death. It was a meditation that helped her clarify her own life but left her wondering if others felt the same way? Did others need a way to restore perspective to their everyday life?
There is a DIY kit on the website for communities that want to recreate this public space. It has proved popular. Since the first wall created in February of 2011 this interactive art project has popped up on walls all over the world, in nations as diverse as Kazakhstan, Portugal, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and of course little old Geelong, Australia.
The Geelong wall was created as part of a youth art project and was meant to remain in place until the end of April however it is still there now. Its lines are still filled daily with chalked aspirations.
For the record – Before I die I want to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain.