Out of place

By Rhonda Dredge

Budding urban artist Shimon Shoul visited the CBD last month to record his impressions in black ink.

He got himself lost for an hour near Melbourne Central and discovered what it was like to feel out of place.

“Here I am, on a street corner in the city, alone and helpless,” he wrote. “I don’t know where I’m going. Cars and trucks are booming across the streets. My friends have run off to the movies.”

Instead of panicking, Shimon imagines how he looks from above and returns home to create a mysterious presence that is more like a smudge than a human. While other pedestrians lock into their predictable grids like pieces on a chess board, Shimon could be a portal into another world.

The 13-year-old student from Richmond uses his illustrations as prompts for his narratives. His representation of the city is an imaginative recreation of how he felt while trying to find his way back home.

The city is a highly structured place that he resists. Lights flash, cars beep, trucks spew out smoke and buildings tower above him. Only those with a purpose are offered an entrance.

A student at EduKingdom College in Richmond, Shimon takes photographs and does sketches from corners of the city for assignments in visual communication.

He documents the way people can be oblivious to their surroundings, dumping rubbish, ignoring strays. When he asks for directions, he is treated as an alien.

Eventually, after rushing back to the station he reconnects with his everyday self.

“I approach a lady sitting peacefully on a bench. I ask her if I may borrow her phone. Relief. My friends return. We all travel home.”

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