Have you heard of the RedBall Project? It's a travelling art installation created by artist Kurt Perschke, consisting of - you guessed it - a big red ball. I first encountered the RedBall Project in 2009 when it was displayed as a part of Toronto's annual Luminato art festival. Designed to play with urban space and invoke a sense of wonder in passersby, it has crossed borders and cultures worldwide from Abu Dhabi to Sydney to Portland and beyond... And this week, it landed in Leuven.
It was blown up in the main entryway of our little park (which is also a main pedestrian thoroughfare to cut through town and my route home from the grocery store). Since I was in no rush on my way home from running some errands, I lingered around watching people's reactions. There was some confusion and bewilderment... but mostly, there were smiles. This ridiculously oversized red ball stuck in the brick archway between the street and the park looked so whimsical, magical and absurd, that people couldn't help but smile. Which, in my opinion, makes the project a success.
My favorite reaction was by an old, squat man in a tweed jacket. He looked at the ball, then at my huge belly, then back at the ball and then pointing at my belly he laughed, saying "You have big ball, too!" He must've chuckled all the way home. It's a shame Didzette is due before Halloween - I could've put on a red shirt and had the perfect costume!
"Through the magnetic, playful, and charismatic nature of the RedBall the work is able to access the imagination imbedded in all of us. On the surface, the experience seems to be about the ball itself as an object, but the true power of the project is what it can create for those who experience it. It opens a doorway to imagine what if."
- Kurt Perschke