Ups and downs

Well, I did it. I made something that made me smile. Actually, I made several things, and they all made me smile. I hope they will make you smile too. They are quite different to my usually quite restrained and organic colour palette, but I am finding the change refreshing. If the mission of the Happy Prince was to bring a small amount of happiness to the world, then he has certainly done it for me.

I imagined a city built around a hill, with the statue of the prince at the very tip and the poorest and worst off at the base. I saw the city in colours, the dull, dark base giving way gradually to brighter and brighter shades with gold at the top. In this city, would it be better to be at the base, poor but able to dream and see the beauty above, or at the top, comfortable but able to see all the misery below?

In any city, the top and the bottom are not unconnected. Streets wind up and down, people move, trade, win and lose. A statue at the top gives its gold to help the poor, and those it helps move up in life. The mayor and his councillors remove the grey statue and the dead bird, but spend so long arguing over a replacement that they can’t do their jobs and become unemployed. The unimaginative maths teacher sits where he is, his dreaming students become tomorrow’s Nobel prizewinners and mad inventors. Snakes and ladders, rising and falling, the circle of life.


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