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  • Ben Ark

Filling the tank in Budapest

I believe that creativity is a little like a petrol tank, whereby as you use some fuel to drive forward a creative project you also need to immerse yourself creatively in order to refill your depleted tank. Taking inspiration from different cultures, artforms and artists can be especially useful. Allowing time to relax and view my work from a different perspective and in the context of the wider art world enables me to engage in personal reflection and critique. with this in mind, I have just returned from a week in Budapest, Hungary's capital city. The city itself is full of architectural gems with both recent and ancient historical significance. Geographically divided by the River Danube you have the flatter Pest district and hilly Buda which houses the Old Town and the Citadella. The city is jammed full of exhibition halls, galleries, museums, churches and theaters. They feature traveling collections and archival artworks from historical Hungarian through to contemporary international art. I loved stumbling upon the numerous works of street art (featured above) as I turned the corner or took a short cut. Much love and Kudos to the artists involved. It is a beautiful place and I will definitely be returning.

In addition to the traditional cultural offering, Budapest is a front runner in advocating health and wellness having more medicinal and thermal water springs than any other capital city in the world. I visited a number of the city spas and loved the history and unwritten narrative that came from engaging in a communal activity that and grew rapidly during the Turkish occupation of Hungary in the 16th century and has been enjoyed by generations from as early as the Romans in the 2nd century. I took a lot of inspiration from the patterns that were all around and plan to use some of these in my future work. A note must also go to the random encounter with the group of European diplomats for their hospitality and recommendation to visit Ghent and Antwerp in the future. I love those little interactions that have the potential to change your life in many ways yet unknown.

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