The Secret Love Project is a collaborative artwork designed to spread LOVE in the world! It uses the heart shape. It’s also a non-profit company that provides free heart stickers to the homeless to sell to support themselves and their families. When you buy heart stickers you enable us to make & distribute more free heart stickers, and together we all spread love in the world! Join us. ONE LOVE!
Created by South African artist MICHAEL ELION (michaelelion.net), The Secret Love Project is a social engineering experiment that explores how signs and symbols that form part of the visual register in city space operate on our collective consciousness and influence our behaviour.
If we notice a symbol everywhere we go in the city, will it influence our perception of that city and even change our mood slightly? The heart shape has become an unambiguous symbol of love across the world. It signifies a feeling, represents a mode of perception, and is aligned with positive emotional content. The Secret Love Project, tests the hypothesis that it’s possible to positively influence the collective consciousness of the inhabitants of a city through the ubiquitous placement of a commonly understood symbol; a symbol that signifies positive thought processes and is understood across cultural and linguistic barriers?
This collaborative artwork was created as an official project for World Design Capital in Cape Town 2014. It is an urban artwork that operates subliminally, but at a conscious level it’s a giant collaboration with a feel-good factor for anyone and everyone who believes in the simple idea of sharing and spreading love.
Underprivileged people are given FREE heart stickers to sell (keeping 100% of the profit) which are then purchased by motorists who stick the hearts to their cars which carry the symbol through city space and into the visual register. At each stage positive emotion is exchanged and then emitted through the shapes symbolism.
Every heart sticker forms part of the artwork, and the artwork itself is a collective feeling, an emotional reaction that this particular shape elicits. If there is any doubt in the validity of the claim of the visual influence of symbols on our consciousness just imagine changing the hearts to swastikas or to the word “hate” and sticking those all over town. The Secret Love Project is an exercise in demonstrating the positive power of symbols (visual language) in human thought and behaviour.
South African artist and founder of The Secret Love Project. He created the “Perceiving Freedom” glasses sculpture in Sea Point.
Love Ambassador & Event Coordinator
Love Ambassador & Journalist
Designer and IT guy for The Secret Love Project. Also sometimes paints hearts on houses.
Manager for The Secret Love Project
Ross Van rooijen
Producer at The Secret Love Project
Love Ambassador and Assistant to The Secret Love Project
Production & Sticker packaging.
The Secret Love Project supports more than sixty sticker sellers in Cape Town. Each week they are given free heart sticker packs to sell, which offers them a lifeline and stepping stone and each one has been touched by your support and kindness. Thank you! Here are some of our top sellers.