DIY Safety Devices

One of my favorite projects at the Kunstvlaai Festival of Independents was by artist Alexia Mellor. The Unicorn Union Project examines how people cope with their fears and anxieties: "It is a participatory project, creating playful interventions and temporary communities designed to make the world a better place. Gathering community members in common activities, the project investigates how we interact with, define and cope with our 21st century world."


The project invited people to sit and make their own device, or contribute to a list for the artist to make them a personalized safety device. I loved it for being engaging, interactive, honest and so human. It takes courage to identify, admit and deal with a fear. Sitting and making a pink safety device while talking it out was therapeutic and reassuring (even for someone as neurotic as myself).


Alexia found that: "some of the most common fears included fear of heights, fear of failure and fear of rejection. It was really interesting to see how these fears cross cultures, gender and age, and ultimately show our fragility as humans. My favorite part was sharing stories with people and seeing the installation of pink objects grow to fill up the room."

Fear of never having children

Device: a baby-sized stuffed toy.

Fear of being broke

Device: Pocket fillers.


Fear of Heartbreak

Device: A small, squishy heart to present to someone I love so that I am always in their pocket and my heart can (literally) never be broken.
Read the list of fears on twitter: