Inspiration can be found in the unlikeliest places. Just ask Steve Chapman. The UK-based artist happened upon a lost cat poster that spurred him to create an art project that would end up spanning the globe.
“I couldn’t help but notice how majestic the picture was,” recalls Chapman. “Tall, proud, slightly cross-eyed—the picture made me wonder whether the cat was actually lost or whether the owners were just showing off what a great cat they had.”
He got home, painted the cat, and then decided to turn the piece into a poster, ultimately placing them in random spots around London. “Surprisingly, they elicited a remarkable response,” says Chapman. Photos of his (Not a) Lost Cat posters were popping up on social media, and people were asking if they could get involved.
He decided to expand the project and see how many locations around the world he could get the (Not a) Lost Cat posters put up in. Since then, the project has taken on a life of its own with posters now found in 50 countries across all seven continents, including Antarctica.
“I sort of have a mission to gently re-weird the world, to create pattern interruptions, where you’re going about your day-to-day life and suddenly something catches our imagination and interrupts that pattern,” says Chapman in an interview for Tripe + Drisheen. “Who knows what might happen as a result of that? It might make you think, it might make you order a cat poster, it might make you quit your job.”
*Want to be a part of this project? If you are willing and able to put up a poster in a new location, reach out to Chapman, and he’ll send you two posters—one for you to keep and one for you to put up in public. All you need to pay is the postage. In return, he requests a photograph of theposter and its location so he can add it to the map. He’s especially interested in continents, countries, regions/states not already covered.
Follow @stevexoh on Instagram for more. Visit notalostcat.com for an interactive map and list of locations or to request a poster.
Photo Lauren Thompson