My World Tuesday: On the Fence in Wilmington, North Carolina

key fence

I first glimpsed this art installation called the Key Fence during a horse-drawn tour of historic Wilmington, North Carolina, last summer. The fence surrounds a corner lot in the heart of the city, and it is covered with thousands upon thousands of keys.  Many are ordinary, but some are extraordinary.  We had a chance to take it in when we were in North Carolina during the Christmas break.
key fence
As someone who is always checking and double-checking where my keys are, the wall made me laugh. I wondered how little it mattered to the original owners of these keys that these keys were gone. What wasn't opening or closing as a result? And does it matter? The artwork made me laugh at myself and lighten up.

key fence

In the background of this shot is the Coast Guard cutter Diligence.

key fence
I liked the blending of colors and textures from the bottom of the empty lot to the sky. The fence seemed to me an illusory portal; all barriers seem to be illusions. How seriously should we take them?  We are as elemental as the materials in this image. The keys?  We have them. Like the bells that ring inside Children at Christmas, they are inside us.

key fence


My World Tuesday

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this! Terrific photos, and wondrous conclusions about the illusory nature of portals and the availability of keys to life. There're also the questions of our pervasive desire for security and access. Great stuff!

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  2. Anonymous11:24 AM

    Wonderful conclusion to these fabulous shots. I like to contemplate on the symbolism of these keys too.

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  3. All last week I was focused on my limitations. Thanks for your words, I'll use my keys and unlock the possibilities.

    I love the thoughts you attach to your photos, they give such substance to your posts.

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  4. This SO speaks to me!


    and thanks for jack frost too-


    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

    ><}}(°>


    <°)}}><

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  5. That's a superb idea and as others have said there is a deep symbolism there. Btw - I love the blue skies.

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  6. I have a bunch of keys on my key ring that I no longer know what they fit but am afraid to get rid of them because I might need them. Maybe I could donate them to this fence.

    An Arkies Musings

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  7. What a neat idea -- a perfect piece of art for no longer needed keys! I have saved keys for years, always thinking I would have enough for the students to do some kind of art work with them but never managed to do it. . . YET!

    I don't understand why I have to keep typing in code words when the first one I typed was simple and I know I did it right. . . bugs me all to ----!

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  8. That is one way to use up all those odd keys that seem to collect in the junk drawer.

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  9. Anonymous4:04 PM

    that's pretty neat. i hope the keys have a little note in them about why they are there.

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  10. I have many keys that I don't know what locks they might have opened. It never would have occured to me that they might be useful in a work of art.

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  11. The key fence is hilarious and you got some fantastic shots. The blue sky was an amazing backdrop.

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  12. Fascinating concept. I've seen gathered locks before but not keys.

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  13. I have seen dozens of locks affixed to posts and bridges, etc., but never keys. You've made this a thought provoking post.

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  14. These keys on a chain link fence look like a fascinating work of art that will continue to grow. Your photos show there are so many photographic possibilities and it is amazing to realize each key has its own story. It reminds me of padlocks on railings of bridges in different parts of the world … except in those cases, it is about locking the padlock and literally throwing away the key to symbolize long lasting love.

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  15. I like your closeups...keys are of no use unless you know which lock they go to...It's interesting trying to throw away old keys=first you have to try them in every lock you have around you before tossing them...lol!

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  16. This is unique. I remember the bridge with locks in Venice.

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  17. I could never bring myself to throw away a key, not ever. I have a drawer of keys to old cars that no longer ran, doors to apts that no longer house me, keys to hearts that no longer cared. What is it about a key that seems so magnetic? Loved this post, but then I always do Sandy, I always do!
    Sandi

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  18. This is a very strange. I have not seen anything like this before.

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  19. Oh, that is so funny, I have seen similar fences and bridges from other places in the world, where people put locks on, I believe to lock their love.;)
    xoxo

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  20. this similarity reminds me of the love locks i encountered in China too.

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  21. I like it. Just thought I'd stop by and tell you that I haven't quit yet. :)

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  22. i like the idea and ive seen some other items being hung somewhere in korea. but not keys though.

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  23. Reminds me of the shell tree I saw on assateague island. I feel a sense of worry that so many people have lost their keys!

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  24. That's an interesting sight. Never seen anything like that. Heard of locks being hanged. Wonder is there any meaning or even another story for these keys?

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  25. how fascinating...
    and I absolutely love the photo.
    I'm so glad to know you Sandy.
    Thank you for "gifting".

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