One of the great pleasures of 2015’s year-long #365ArtDrops piece has been the e.mails and social media postings from people who have found pieces. Indeed at the Reveal show at the Fount space last week it was brilliant to meet people we recognised from photos of them with their pieces and hear tales about how they had tracked pieces down (loved the story one guy told us about how he had been after a piece and was on holiday in Turkey when he saw on Faceook I had left one in a phonebox right by his house, by the time he had woken his friend up at 3am and insisted he go look the piece had gone. Pleased to say he got a piece later on) . We’ve got some great photos and tales of where the pieces have got to. The piece of work came to an end on December 31st, pleased to say the photos and tales are still coming in. Several photos of people with their pieces have been posted on social media again today, we’re busy gathering them all up and documenting it all right now…Really wasn’t aware until the conversations in the gallery last weekend just how much time and effort some people were putting in to getting hold of one of the pieces! (felt almost guilty) .
Most of the time, once a piece had been left, I must confess i feared the worse, surely that one is going to end up in a council worker’s bin and off to landfill? I’d find myself checking bins and bushes when passing somewhere where we’d previously left a piece (only ever found one in a bin, and hung that one back out there). Always exciting to see news of a piece and see that it did indeed get picked up by someone.
One of the very last pieces of the 365 was left out on the street in Birmingham just before Christmas, Part 348 was left outside the very pleasant thing that is Moor Street railway station as we were passing though on our journey home for Christmas. The piece had been painted on some found cardboard packaging, I’d put it in my bag as we left London fully intending to leave it at Moor Street (I like Moor Street, the antidote to the hell of New Street). So part 348 was left outside the railway station, we hung around for a few minutes, took some photos, trying to get the Bull Ring in the background, that rather impressive Selfridges building, maybe a Birmingham bus or two to contrast with the shots of pieces with red London buses in the background. So the piece was left outside the station, we took the photos and rushed off to catch our connection and get on with the journey. home.. Nothing more was heard of the piece, must have gone in to a street cleaner’s bin, nothing until today that is when a message was found in the Facebook spam bin
“Hey Sean Worrall, we would like to wish you a very merry Christmas. And thank you for the lovely picture(348/365) that we’ve found on Moor St, in Birmingham City Centre…All the very best, Alan and Jackie Harley”
Only found the message today (no one checks the spam bin on Facebook do they?), sent Alan and Jackie a reply straight away and thanked them for letting me know along with an apology for only just getting back to them today (today is January 15th, annoyed that I only found it today), Alan replied straight away
“Thank you for your reply Sean. Your gift had the most profound effect upon us both. Can I tell you our story?” Alan replied…. And so here’s the story of what became of part 348 (posted here with Alan and Jackie’s kind permission)
“Thank you..We’re the florists on Moor St Station, a family run business that we opened in 2010. We have 3 children and raised them with an appreciation of art and nature. At the time you left your gift, we had worked long hours over several weeks due to the festive season. We were flagging come the 23rd and looking forward to the break of the Christmas holiday. We don’t mind the work, it keeps us busy and maybe distracted a little. As bereaved parents we lost one of our children, Jake, that was Xmas 2009..If anyone knew our tastes in art it was him. And…on the morning of the 23rd we got hit in the heart by an old song on the radio, not particularly a Christmas tune..it had us both in tears and the words on that day were more than a little bit powerful. So, we had the words ‘purge the soul’ running through our heads and we smiled at memories and the sentiment.. and, we had some very odd things happen that gave us a strange feeling of coincidence or synchronicity, we’re not particularly the type that see significance in such things. It’s always an emotional time for us though and in some respects the giving and receiving of gifts can be a little bit difficult when there’s someone you can’t do that with..So, I’m having a crafty smoke outside the station and found this little piece of cardboard with a flower in the shape of a heart on it . Now I’m puzzled and amused and looking for the owner..and found your message. I now knew what to do with it, your work, that flower was the most perfect appropriate thing I could have given my wife for Christmas, it was the type of gift Jake would have given her. he was always creative. He was a baker/confectioner, who made sugar flowers and plants with the most delicate hand. We started our business when we were in pain, we love what we do and we arrange flowers for tokens of love, for those who take them for pleasure and often give as a gesture of sympathy or comfort. When we desperately needed comfort we found a little picture painted on cardboard that gave us comfort at a difficult time.That has meant oh so very much to us both. Hope I haven’t rambled on too much, but thought you should know just what happens and how powerful it is when you bring art out to the community and it touches us.. Thanks for your time Sean. All the best my friend”.
Well that one brought a little tear to the eye. Thank you so much for sharing that Alan and Jackie. Rather pleased that Alan found it, I was sure that one had gone in to a street cleaner’s bin. .
Didn’t really know what to expect when I started this piece back on January 1st 2015, kind of hoped people would engage, but really didn’t expect so many tales and so many pieces traveling so many miles, didn’t expect so many stories, didn’t expect so much emotion from people, there’s been some really special moments, some really great people…
Here’s some more photos people have posted on social media, Mary Spence posted “My sister Polly Thrasivoulou asked me to look out for a part for her too. Part 324 is on it’s way to South Tottenham it will be residing with a cat called Coco and of course Polly and Dennis”
One of the very last pieces was part 362, I left it high up under a railway bridge in Hackney, right outside the venue for the Reveal show, left it on December 31st, it stayed there until January 9th about ten foot up waiting to be noticed. “On our way to the Reveal show when Aaron Leech spotted this hanging under the bridge outside. A very happy little art fan. 362 from the #365artdrops” ..(thanks Aaron, thanks everyone)