German street artist Hera has just transformed a train platform in Stavanger, Norway, into a work of art. Made in collaboration with the NuArt Festival, Hera's 328-foot-long mural will greet passengers as trains move along the tracks. The stunning piece shows a young girl wearing a backpack and holding onto the tail of a narwhal as if she's ready to be pulled along on her own journey.
Accompanying the image is text that reads, “We all are Birds of Migration. Some With Feathers, Some Without.” These beautiful words add layers of meaning to the piece, which Hera completed over the course of several days. The girl's eyes look straight at the viewer, almost as if she implores us to come along on her voyage. It's a fitting composition for the space, and taps into the itch that many of us have to travel.
For the artist, the piece speak to our inherent need to move about, whether freely or by force. “We all exist today, because our ancestors at some point either freely migrated to greener pastures, more fertile grounds, greater resources and safer living conditions, or were forcibly moved from one place to another at some point in history,” she shares.
“My mural is a tribute to those travelers, nomads, explorers, survivors,” she continues. “There are some voices in society who demand that everyone stay in their place of origin, basically to stay where they were born, ‘where they have come from.' Some even expect not just people but wildlife, and animals, to also forever stay within certain assigned areas and away from others, to never cross fences, respect stop signs and borderlines. What an unnatural thought to have. I wholeheartedly wish people realized how insanely absurd they sound when opposing the most natural, most intrinsic urge of life itself: the freedom of movement. It is life itself.”
This freedom of movement also translates into Hera's creativity, as she also found time to paint smaller artworks throughout Stavanger. Thanks to the NuArt Festival, the city is already dotted with work by famous street artists in addition to Hera's creative touches. From a bird on a unicycle to a cat and mouse sharing a cup of tea while reading books, these small pieces also speak to the different ways in which we may travel, whether physically or mentally.
To see where Hera's own journey will bring her next, follow her artistic travels on Instagram.