Throughout the months of April and May, I would welcome the arrival of the seasonal purple jacaranda blooms. They simply make me happy. Should you ever find yourself sitting along side me during my daily commute, you will find me smiling as I take in the beautiful splashes of purple enveloping the streetscape. This week, I noticed that the usual purple hues I have come to expect from the neighborhood jacaranda trees were no longer.
Little did I know that I was in for a magical treat.
Petal Drop LA (02) was this morning’s local seven-hour floral art installation event. It was created by the anonymous art collective responsible for last summer’s art installation of the “Griffith Park Teahouse” in Los Feliz and this past February’s “Petal Drop LA (01)” in a Downtown Los Angeles alley.
Fallen purple jacaranda blossoms from local trees have been collected all over Los Angeles, sorted by the collective artists and transported to a secret location for set up of this temporary art installation days before today’s scheduled Petal Drop LA (02) event. Art patrons were then instructed to check in on Twitter, Instagram or by telephone today at dawn for the Petal Drop LA (02) location.
Since the anonymous artist collective revealed in a press release that Petal Drop LA (02) will be “a surreal factory that will vanish by noon,” I found myself quickly rushing my family out the door early Sunday morning. We navigated through two freeways (thankfully, everyone was out of town, so it was a short 30 minute drive from the Coast) to reach the art installation at 625 Lamar Street, an outdoor industrial site close to the Brewery District, in Los Angeles’ Lincoln Heights neighborhood.
As we parked our car on Main Street, we immediately noticed that members of the local community participated in this multi-block art installation.
As we continued to walk the streets of this industrial neighborhood, we found an abundance of purple jacaranda blooms in unexpected places.
We later learn from volunteers who passed out purple jacaranda blooms that the public was invited to take part in this experiential vision of purple happiness.
We finally arrive at our intended destination of 625 Lamar Street, and I can only describe the vision of the art installation as a larger-than-life juxtaposition of the Industrialized World’s concrete and steel gray and Mother Nature’s organic beauty of everything purple.
“There’s more to see,” one of the volunteers exclaimed. “Just walk up and down Main Street.” Here’s what else we discovered:
Even the passing train cars complimented the hues of purple that surrounded us.
The second larger-than-life art installation was located at the nearby urban Los Angeles River. The purple jacarandas were grouped into letters to spell out the message, “As if nothing magical had happened.”
As if nothing magical had happened.
What could this mean?
Because this installation is temporary, the purple blooms will be gone within hours, as if this art experience never happened? Or does it mean that the spirit of Mother Nature is always with us even though the original banks of the Los Angeles River have been replaced, for safety reasons, by modern concrete?
Only you can find your own interpretation of what is behind this cryptic message.
As we walked back to our vehicle, we took in what was left of this temporary art installation.
There were even performance artists for us to discover by way of the bus commuters.
We were even encouraged to experience the art by way of discovering our own interpretation of what it would be like to sit and wait on these reupholstered bus benches.
Check out this “purple rain” of jacaranda blooms.
This is one Memorial Day Weekend for which I am glad I stayed in town to experience this fleeting event. Until next time, Petal Drop LA.
PetalDrop LA (02)
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