The Small Key Is Lost

The first time I came across locks as icons of commitment was many years ago while travelling. On a bridge over the River Seine were hundreds of padlocks locked to the structure. Some were engraved, some were very old, some but not many had tags and all were resolutely locked in place assuming their keys had been thrown into the river and lost for all time.

Here in Hutt street a similar idea combining commitment and charity by the Heart Foundation means that every lock is carrying a message of love or commitment. Apart from the messages and the colour of the tags though they all look identical.

The tags are all heart shaped and the locks are all red. The messages are in ink and at a distance they all blend into a one homogeneous texture. I’d even go so far as to suggest that none of the keys have been lost but kept as as some token or retained by the organisation just in case they need to dismantle this installation in the future.

So the the romantic in me will always be taken back to that bridge over the River Seine where each and every symbol of love and commitment had no end or no undoing. Where every small key is lost for all time.

Photo: Robert Rath, ‘The Small Key Is Lost’, 1/250s f5.6 ISO100 50mm

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