Uart © 2018
A common tagline for modern airports, and a mentality which has become engrained in 21st century travel, is that the holiday starts the moment one arrives at the airport. And to this mantra, the airports have aligned. No longer do they resemble a herding pen (Vancouver Int. Airport reflects the diverse scenery of the area). But instead, a portal, embodying the liberal foundations with which travel and globalisation are associated.
Besides the clear aesthetic benefits of exhibiting pieces of art, there are also economic reasons why airports do so. Awards can be more than trophies. They can be the difference in winning or losing a new airline contract. If a commercial airline finds some level of affinity with an airport, they will be more likely to strike a partnership. The art thus serves to epitomise the ethos of the airport, and its directors.
Upon landing in a new destination, the terminal is often the first taste of foreign culture that you will likely encounter. The arrivals area thus encapsulates a microcosm of the city in which it is found: local foods, drinks and merchandise all being promoted. Therefore, it seems fitting that the location’s most acclaimed painter, sculptor or performer is granted a place on the pedestal as well. For example, Philadelphia airport is celebrated for having brought locally infused art into the terminals. The airport is becoming the showcase for national and local prides. The airport is becoming the showcase for national and local prides. The mise en bouche before the main, if you will.
But there’s no denying it – travel can be stressful and frustrating. With stress, comes irritation. With waiting, comes impatience. A piece of artwork can relax the customers and staff alike (San Francisco International Airport has its own museum!). It can offer a welcomed distraction; drawing focus away from the boarding documents and towards a chef-d'oeuvre. Quelle différence.
The artwork enables travels before travel. Escapism before escape. The voyager is permitted a moment of contrast – of serenity – amongst the surrounding rush of modern travel. On Uart, we hope to expose you to these moments of divergence; of deviation, before departure.