Cuenca in many respects is a beautiful city, and the various posts and photos since the summer of 2010 on this blog site have highlighted some of these features. Recently, a friend here in Cuenca, Jack Johansen, sent me an email that I found quite captivating. I have not seen anything like this since I was in Mumbai, India in the 1970's, and even then nowhere to the extent shown in these slides.
The slides are of a beautiful meshing of art with plant and flower life. I couldn't help but think in a city like Cuenca which has so many lovely squares, fabulous parks like Parque Madre and Parque Pariso, not to mention the spectacular greenways along the Rio Tomebama and the Rio Yaracuy; that this use of plant life with wire-mesh arranged in interesting art forms would find a perfect complement to the attractive settings in Cuenca.
Cuenca and Ecuador have a biodiversity of flowers and plant life, which allow for a wide array of such an enhancement of the overall beauty of the city. Flowers and plants are also very inexpensive in Cuenca, which should make such art forms financially feasible as well. Another plus for such a project(s) in Cuenca is the fact that our springlike weather the year round allows for these art forms to transcend simple display during one or two seasons.
How might these art forms be used? Some of the city and church squares could use more greenery to dilute the concrete appearance. One such example would be the Santo Domingo Plaza on Gran Columbia. Some art form examples in the slide presentation would be ideal for such a location. Possibilities might even exist in the corners of Parque Calderon. Parque Paraiso would be a perfect site for a large garden of such displays, not to mention locations scattered along the greenways of the Rio Tomebama and the Rio Yaracuy. This post is just a suggestion to city officials, the Chamber of Commerce, and whoever is responsible for the beautification of Cuenca, both for the enjoyment of its people as well as for the tourists to the city. It would certainly require the cooperation of the horticulturalists and the artists and student-artists of the city.
While many of these photo slides are of an Oriental motif, a little imagination of the part of our artists could easily give the art forms a more South American flavor. I encourage you as you watch these slides to click on the enlargement symbol in the lower right hand corner, so you can enjoy the luscious and magnificent beauty of these eye popping photos that bring a sense of beauty to the soul as well. After viewing, let your imaginations roam as to where such similar sites would complement the beauty of Cuenca, as we transform it into the most aesthetically beautiful city in South America.