The found notebook

MEDIAIt is mid-morning. You are walking through the city, minding your own business, when you spot something colourful on a stone fence up ahead. You pick it up. It is a journal, lovingly hand-made, and beautiful. You think, "The owner of this will be devastated when they realise they've left it behind." You start flipping through the pages backward. Not to read, not properly (you wouldn't want to intrude on their privacy), but just to see if you can find a clue as to the owner.

That's when you realise the journal is empty: open to possibilities, for stories, dreams, ideas, feelings as-yet untold. "Gosh," you think, "I wish this was mine."

But it is not quite empty, after all.

On the first page, you see writing. There is a message inside, inscribed by a local artist or writer. And the message is for you.

The journal is for you.

Journal29_web1You have found one of 30 handmade journals that will surreptitiously be left in various places around Melbourne from 1 to 10 August this year, as gifts of "guerilla kindness" to whoever finds them. (You!)

It is a participatory project called "Sharing Ink" by public artist Sayraphim Lothian.

"I create these works as tiny moments of loveliness for the finder – that instant when the finder spots the work out of the corner of their eye, that moment when they realise that someone has made something and left it somewhere for them to find. That moment is the whole point of the work," she says.

"As the artist, there is also a thrill to the unknowing... I’ll never know what happens to most of them, but there’s mystery and awesomeness in the unknown. While a thing is unknown, it could be anything. It’s only when you know that you narrow down the possibilities."

Shall we take some slow walks through Melbourne together this week?

j26_web Journal4_web j27_web materials2Photos of the journals (and the inscribers hiding behind them) all from the Sharing Ink blog). Last photo is of the journal materials ready for Sayraphim to make them.