Designed by Morag Myerscough and inspired by Covid-19, the vibrant installation aims to help people focus on the positive changes in their lives.
The colourful ‘A New Now’ installation in Paris is a fresh take on the common phrase ‘a new normal’, a now popular way to refer to the effects of Covid-19, according to Myerscough. The installation aims to have people focus on the positives that have come from the pandemic, rather than trying to predict the long-term impacts it will have.
"I am reacting against the phrase 'a new normal', which has been bandied about since the beginning of lockdown," Myerscough explains. "For me, that was a waste of time – we were and are still living in 'a new now'.
"On many levels we are still experiencing the pause button," Myerscough continued. "I believe it is impossible to predict the future. We can't plan; we have to make the most of the here and now.
"We have all experienced this together, we have had time that we have never had collectively before in the majority of our lifetimes to spend reflecting, to start understanding and rethinking about what is important to us as individuals, families, local communities and the global community."
Located close to the Centre Pompidou in central Paris, the colourful installation was built in a small square alongside the 16th-century Saint-Merry church. The eight-metre-tall installation was commissioned by Paris-based 6M3 Collective as part of its Embellish Paris initiative, which aims to draw attention to overlooked spaces in the heart of the city.
Myerscough painted the installation, which is a combination of colourful, geometric shapes, in her signature style at her London studio over a three-week period, the words ‘A New Now’ painted across the piece. She hopes that the display will spark conversation as well as create ‘a feeling of empowerment and optimism.’
"I have always felt strongly that we need art in every form to challenge us, stimulate us and transport us from the everyday, but at this time particularly it is essential for our wellbeing," Myerscough continued. "It can be used to get messages out on the streets for everyone to engage with, respond to situations expressively and inquisitively, find ways to connect collectively, and raise peoples' spirits.
"Art and creativity is in all our souls, and without it we are missing the vitality of what makes us engaged as human beings," she added.
With opportunities to visit museums being limited during the pandemic, Myerscough believes that we should take the opportunity to explore the potential of outdoor artworks in cities. "At this present time, the current situation feels like a slow road to recovery," she said, "so we should see it as an opportunity to rethink how we use our outside spaces to make them work harder and be more experimental and expressive for everyone.
"Our streets, buildings and open spaces should be playgrounds for public art and for making artworks that connect with communities, that give a sense of belonging and pride – it's a powerful way of bringing people together and enriching our environment."
Images via Dezeen