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Love-locks become works of art

11 Aug 2016

Love-locks become works of art Image

Couples who fixed a padlock along Evan Walker Bridge some years ago as a tribute to their love can rest assured that, since removed, the locks are being transformed into extraordinary art.

After leaving Southbankers in suspense for more than a year, the City of Melbourne commissioned Craft Victoria to take ownership of the locks and create a public exhibition.

When the City of Melbourne removed the padlocks due to safety concerns it was left with the conundrum of what do and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said he didn’t want to see them just thrown away.

“The Love Lock phenomenon has spread through many cities around the world and we have had a lot of interest in this process as a result,” he said.

“I knew we would come up with a solution that was uniquely Melbourne and that’s what the Love Locks project is.”

The project’s co-ordinator Ramona Barry said Craft Victoria bid to take ownership of the locks and won the tender.

“We’re a small organisation that’s light on its feet and our members are in the business of dealing with objects,” she said.

“Because they meant so much to people there was a bit of an outcry. In the face of 20,000 people expressing their love, it’s hard to be cynical about it.”

Holding an open day for those people who wanted to reclaim their cherished memento, many flocked to Craft Victoria’s viewing space.

The locks that weren’t reclaimed have been transformed into individual art pieces by six artists and will be on display for the general public throughout the Craft Cube Festival in August.

Artists have explored themes of memory, devotion, love and loss to commemorate this aspect of Melbourne’s history.

Photographer and sculptor Kirsty MacAfee has immersed some of the locks in snow-white porcelain. Over the course of the exhibition, these coatings will be dissolved within the Perspex bath with water – revealing the underlying Love Lock.

The remaining locks will be on display along with a short film by Arie Glorie entitled Forever, You Are Mine.  This will be available for viewing at the Love Locks Exhibition at Melbourne Town Hall from August 8 to 20.

The locks can be snapped up as part of an open lottery and tickets are available for $10 from Craft Victoria’s website with all money being donated to the Lord Mayors’ Charitable Foundation.

For more information visit www.craft.org.au

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