After blogging about the Love Locks a while back, I noticed that the only location within the United States that Love Locks were being collected was in Guam, which is a pretty unattainable location for most of us to access. Love Padlocks are a custom by which sweethearts affix padlocks to a fence or similar public fixture to symbolize their love, or they’re used to commemorate a loved one. I found myself attracted to the memorial aspects of this guerrilla tradition, and how such simple devices are used to permanently mark emotions, loved ones, wishes, or memories. Naturally, I’d like to have an opportunity to have a collection point a little closer to home than Guam.
So, I’ve been scouting out locations to start a collection locally. Unfortunately, Providence urban planners have been pretty diligent about not using building materials that would be conducive to having padlocks attached to them. Traditionally, the site of a Love Padlock grouping is on a bridge or scenic outlook; that way the people who leave their lock can throw the key into the water or down the side of a cliff. It’s a nice symbolic gesture alluding to how the sentiment that is commemorated by the lock will last as long as the lock is in place. But, here in Providence there is no chain link, or fences with smaller rails by the rivers… Except for in India Point!
On a recent bike I ride, I noticed that the new hardscaping for the India Point Park overpass was done with really nice square link fencing, perfect for locking things to it! And, the location is just a short walk away from the Bay, where the keys can get tossed into the water! I’m going to be making up anonymous invitations to post around in order to get people to initiate the collection… so keep an eye out, or just go stick a lock over there ASAP!Images from top to bottom: Metal chain-link railings at Mount Huang, China, adorned with padlocks, the keys ceremoniously thrown to the bottom of the cliff; Love padlocks on the Passerelle Leopold Sedar Senghor in Paris; Future site of Love Padlocks in Providence’s India Point Park.