Have you ever found a random present? Something left by someone else, someone you don’t know, just for you? There’s a good chance the person behind it was Tash Cutts from This Must Be For You. Hiding little boxes of goodies wherever they can, This Must Be for You have picked-up countless days, spread actual tons of happiness and inspired a good chunk of recipients to pay the generosity forward.
Ahead of our joint exhibition at Servant Jazz Quarters this evening, we catch up with Tash to find out more about the inspiration behind the idea.
What is the ethos behind This Must Be For You?
TMBFY has been running for about 4 years. Originally the intention was to add cheer to strangers’ days with tangible means, but it’s evolved into a different and unusual way to connect people to art.
What initially sparked the idea and pushed you to start gifting?
I first thought of the idea at University when a guerilla gardening campaign was doing some rogue flower planting in the concrete hell hole that was the York campus. I realised how effective small acts could be, and how much I’d enjoy being the recipient of that kind of gesture.
A combination of photos taken by Sonny Malhotra for The Disappearing exhibition.
Where’s has been your favourite place to gift?
I have been fortunate enough to leave gifts in India, France, London, Portugal, New York and Cornwall. End of the Road Festival was awesome because I hid in a bush and watched people pick them up – not as creepy as it sounds.
Do people ever send you reactions to the gifts they find?
It’s the best thing when people get in touch saying they have found something! It happens occasionally, and others have gone on to do it themselves which is ace. I’ve seen other TMBFYs pop up in Australia and the USA.
In our forth coming exhibition, all the art on display will be available for guests to take home with them, what made you want to expand in this way?
Art is special and unique, but in a lot of ways inaccessible. Most of us will never own a house, let alone something awesome to hang on its walls. I wanted to create an event where everything was free so anyone could come, experience something cool, and then take part of it home.
One of Carolina Faruolo’s photos taken for the exhibit.
How did you pick the artists for the exhibit?
I published an open call for photographers on the TMBFY facebook wall and reached a lot of amazing people that way, but I also contacted a few myself. Working in live music I’ve come across a great deal of talent and it’s a privilege to have them take part in the exhibition.
Apart from photos, what do you hope people take away from this exhibit?
I just really hope that people enjoy the concept! These photographers have taken time out to produce art and give it away to people they have never met – doesn’t get much better than that.
Header photos by Chris Almeida.