A Tile’s Tale

Sometimes we tend to overlook the little details in life, whether it’s the distinct aroma of your favourite meal wafting from the kitchen, an author’s authentic application of alliteration, or even the little smiley face written at the bottom of your birthday card. These are the details that give life flavour, the details that are much more significant than perceived. They allow us to appreciate life on a different level.

Joan Miró’s tile art is a project that originated in Barcelona, Spain. As his plan rose, an initiative was born: to find a way to interact and connect with people from around the city, then as they travelled to other places or returned home. Each tile is uniquely created and placed somewhere to be found by anyone passing by. If one is discovered, the person is allowed to keep it, take it back with them or to their favourite place, and post a photo of it while sharing the hashtag, “#tilesaroundtheworld.”

Before the project, Joan Miró wished to embellish Barcelona with his vibrant art in the form of tiles. His inspiration was the mosaics that were laid throughout the city, in which did not receive much attention. The pieces were soon prevalent and brought Barcelona to life, allowing its residents to admire it in a new light. Soon after, he made four more tiles and gave them to the neighbours in his building as a way of symbolising the significance of where they lived at the time. The four neighbours put their tile in their place of origin or most favourite spot in the world, making it a competition, and shared their photos of it. They would always remember the memories associated with that time in their lives. This formed a memorable connection, which also succeeded in invoking a great appreciation of where they came from.

Now, tiles are scattered all around Barcelona for residents or tourists to find and claim as their own. The project has grown outside the city as well; people have taken countless photos of their pieces found, sharing it to the world as the tile has found a new home in another area of the planet. Each tile has a story, a destination, and a journey, but regardless of where they end up, they will always tie back to their first city. This connected not only the four neighbours, but the entirety of those who lived or visited Barcelona.

On Miró’s website, it is possible to order a tile of your own. One can customise it to their likings, keep it either as a souvenir, as a gift, or of course, give it a new home and share it to the world! This way, as time progresses countless stories can be exchanged using beautiful art pieces, while still tying back to Barcelona itself.

Little details such as these are what make life even more pleasant. Merely being able to express an entire story’s worth of a journey through the small representation of a tile is exceptionally breath-taking. With the use of something as simple as painting on mosaics, an entire area can be transformed into an inspirational piece of art that was once seen as a plain building or street. Utilising this concept, imagine the possibilities that could be created from the small things in life. Perhaps one day our entire world could be inspired with aspects like these, for they will be a way to connect people from all around the globe.