A fine idea that inspired fine art

It is every driver's bugbear - finding a parking ticket under the car's windshield wiper.

But for artist Maggie O'Neill, 49, who is based in Washington, the tickets were an inspiration.

Her first reaction, she told The Washington Post, was that the bright pink slips of paper looked like cherry blossoms, which have long been a motif in her work.

Last week, Ms O'Neill set up a pop-up gallery in Dupont Circle with a wall made of flowers folded from these tickets. Her aim is to create an immersive space filled with these paper blossoms, and she is asking drivers to cough up their parking tickets for her project.

Since the gallery opened last week, visitors have been stopping by, taking pictures of the pink wall and leaving behind their tickets.

So far, Ms O'Neill has 400 tickets - most of the flowers on her wall are made of jumbo-sized photocopies - but estimates that she needs 800,000 tickets to fufil her vision of the project.

It is not such a long shot.

Since 2015, the District of Columbia has issued more than 4.5 million of these tickets. Plus, they are quite hardy. Printed on high-durability thermal paper, they are seemingly impossible to tear.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'A fine idea that inspired fine art'. Print Edition | Subscribe