Street art as an experience and an anonymous gift

Key 01

Why do people collect art? Perhaps part of the reason is a memory or an experience associated with the object. The possessions I have most affection for were bought on holiday or given to me by a friend. There’s a cool story that goes with them. If we accept that artistic experience is in part about feeling a meaningful connection with an object, can the process of collection also elicit emotions and memories, beyond the aesthetic of the work?

I painted aerosol portraits onto wooden board and pad-locked them onto walls in Melbourne. I then hid the key somewhere in the city and left a puzzle to the key’s location, with the instruction “find the key, unlock and keep the painting”. The clues required participants to hunt and climb within the forgotten spaces of the city, sometimes scaling the outside of a building to the 2nd floor. I designed adventures, transgressing into the dead-ends within a network of thoroughfares; the unfamiliar within the familiar.

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