Armouries

A Leeds Seen

bridge
IMAGES LIZZIE COOMBES
WORDS ANDREW OWEN COOK

Now, as you’re looking at this photograph, I know you’re thinking … you’re thinking, ‘Looks a bit boring, that place. There isn’t even a naked fella or a world famous crow like in the other ones.’

And you’d be right on both accounts.

To be honest, at first I thought it was a boring place too. All new and whitewashed and clean and inhuman. No signs of life. Like a freshly painted exam hall table.

But in fact, within this scene there’s the most powerful and original sign of life that exists. Though the words change, since the dawn of time such markings have appeared on cave walls, tree trunks and, in black marker pen, underneath bridges in Leeds. And here it is:

BILLY + AKKY + JABZ

 

And where are BILLY + AKKY + JABZ today? Who knows. BILLY + AKKY + JABZ are anonymous. As anonymous as each of the 4.5 people who have been born while you read this sentence. As anonymous as the stars.

But not quite as anonymous as the stars. You see, the stars just yell to each other and don’t mind who listens. BILLY + AKKY + JABZ wanted an audience. They sought one out. You. They just didn’t want to meet or be asked any questions.

Which is the point.

Because their marks are a secret love letter. They need you to see it so you know they exist but they can’t reveal their identity or the magic will be broken. And they can’t ask if you’ve read it either. No, meeting their audience would ruin everything. But they need one to let them feel heard. To be made human. Especially in places like this.

BILLY + AKKY + JABZ + ANDY   FOREVER