Welcome to the latest post in the A Random Story feature, where I ask readers to share some of their favourite and most random memories.

Nick is currently wandering and blogging his way around India and South-East Asia and through his writing hopes to inspire others to do the same.  His travels are primarily focused around adventure, exploration and nature and you’re much more likely to find him amongst the jungles and mountains than at temples or man-made monuments. You can follow his adventures over at The Boy Wander.

I asked Nick to tell me about his favourite memory involving a painting.

It was Vancouver Art Gallery early in 2011 that I had to hand in my long-sported badge of ‘art-narcissist’. I had long been of the mindset that art was over-priced, over-hyped and generally just a huge self-congratulatory echo chamber, but let’s back up a little bit.

My earliest memory of art galleries and perhaps the catalyst for my lengthy boycott of such places was a school excursion we took to the Art Gallery of NSW at nine years old. The sticking point from this visit was one painting in particular. It was a large square canvas about 1.5m x 1.5m square painted solid blue. Okay I thought, a blue square, I don’t ‘get’ it. No big deal maybe I didn’t have enough artistic intellect to understand it but what made it more absurd to my nine year old brain was the $40,000 price tag. I was banking like $5 a week maximum, IF I kept my room clean, so $40,000 for a blue square was enough to make my head spin. Besides, I had made finer pieces of art on Microsoft Paint (also available for the bargain bin price of $20k).

Fast forward 11 years and I had barely been back to an Art Gallery, but after 4 months of snowboarding in Canada I found myself with a friend in Vancouver. Exploring cities was new to me then and we figured we should go get ‘cultured’, that’s what you do right? 

Vancouver Art Gallery biggest drawcard for me was the Mirror Maze installation by Ken Lum; a huge maze of mirrors with the 12 signs of depression spread throughout. It was enough to get me in the door and once inside I found myself strangely interested in many of the pieces. 

There was one piece in particular that really grabbed me though. It was Help by Graham Gillmore. The piece itself had thought provoking questions and statements written vertically and horizontally in coloured marker on old railway employee pay sheets (If I remember correctly). Simple but brilliant. I stood in front of it reading and thinking about the questions for over an hour before turning to my friend and saying ‘Dude, I think I ‘get’ art now’. 

The questions that seem to stand out in my memory are 'How to recognise compatibility time bombs?’, 'Are you still doing time in that emotional prison?’ and 'Are you treating the symptoms and not the causes?’. 

Although the questions were a straight-forward way to elicit an emotional response from me, it opened my eyes to how I responded to other pieces of art and I left Vancouver Art Gallery with not only an acceptance for art but a new-found passion for it. Art galleries have become one of my favourite experiences in new cities and I feel that the more I explore them the more I start to truly appreciate them. 

Thank you so much to Nick from The Boy Wander for sharing his story with us. Be sure to check out his blog for more great reads.

If you want to be involved and share your random story on Ever Changing Scenery, please leave a comment or send over an email| and I will give you a topic.

What is your favourite memory involving a painting?

PS. If you like art check out this post on a local emerging artist.