April 17, 2015

Ambush Exhibiting , Westwood Place Melbourne

Charlie don’t live here anymore. Acrylic on board. 85x60cm.

I put a work out in the city on Friday in Westwood Place Melbourne, off Collins Street behind the Melbourne club. 

I normally place a note next to the artwork saying 'For You' which grabs people's attention. This time I thought I wouldn't make it so easy, instead stuck the note behind the work and lent it against the wall then found myself a vantage point across the road where I could stand and watch through a carpark, to see if anyone took the painting while I was watching. 

It gives me a thrill if I'm there to witness someone taking it.

The location I chose wasn't that busy itself but it was lunch time and only a few metres from a bustling Little Collins St. I stood there for about half an hour and not one person went over or it seemed even barely noticed the painting. Lately works haven't been lasting more than 10 mins on the street. I was getting hungry and so leaving the work there sitting on the street unclaimed, went off for a Japanese lunch and beer. At lunch I decided that if the work hadn't been taken when I got back I'd maybe make it a bit more obvious and take the note off and stick it on the wall next to the painting like I normally do.

After lunch I went back to Westwood Place, this time from the other end via the small pedestrian walkway off Collins Street. Just as I turned into the lane I could see a lady looking at the painting. Getting closer I could see it was a 'bag lady' with fully loaded trolley and all. She was inspecting the note and obviously deciding whether she should take it or not. 

She did take the painting and piled it on top of her trolley. Intrigued I followed her down Little Collins Street.

The note I left with it said 'this is art that has escaped the gallery', she headed in the general direction of Melbourne's main gallery the NGV and I thought that she may have taken the note quite literally, intending to return my painting to it's rightful home. Feeling like a bit of a stalker I followed from a distance until she turned into a deadend laneway a few blocks down that had another laneway branching off it. 

Where was she going? Is this where she lives? Who knows?

Many people have commented how well she was dressed for a bag lady which makes her even more intriguing. Who is our mysterious art lover? Anyone know who she is or anything about her?

I hope she's enjoying her new acquisition.

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