The most memorable part of my childhood morning routine before grade school wasn’t the bowl of cereal or the cartoons on TV; it was walking to school with my sister and my mother. My sister and I grew up in Brooklyn. The graffiti culture was big in the 1990s, and that’s what we saw as we strolled along. The colors jumped out at me, and the characters the artists drew made me want to doodle in my notebook every day.
I had the same feeling when I photographed World Walk, a recent installation by Legge Lewis Legge on a pedestrian bridge that spans a freeway in San Antonio. What was once a severe, utilitarian crossing for young students is now a place of colors and education. Watching the kids run across in joy and laughter, skimming the bright tabs of steel with their hands, brought me right back to that special time in my childhood. The sheet metal tabs are water jet cut and folded, creating an origami-like figure that snaps onto the bridge’s chain-link enclosure. Each tab is CNC-etched with the names of places around the globe: Mt. Everest; Kauō, Hawaii; the Gulf of Oman; and so on.
Kids who look down find themselves walking from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, breezing past vast deserts and skipping across international boundaries. In middle school, we start to learn about the world, in class. The World Walk bridge reminds students of their geography lessons and encourages them to go home and tell their parents what they’ve learned. Legge Lewis Legge’s installation transports these kids from the concrete slab, the chain-link fence, and the freeway — to what the wider world has to offer them, once they finish school.