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Buy some art and good vibes from this vending machine in Sydney's CBD

Written by
Ben Neutze

While we mightn't quite be Tokyo, there are vending machines all around Sydney to take care of your cravings. But if a Kit Kat won't quite hit the sweet spot, artists Elizabeth Commandeur and Mark Starmach will come to the rescue.

Their new work, as part of the City of Sydney's Art & About project, sees a vending machine installed in various locations throughout the CBD (it's currently in Martin Place) offering goods designed for the soul rather than the stomach.

Developed in collaboration with mental health professionals, the ten products on sale are just $2 each and come in bags labelled for their purpose. There are small packages for friendship, imagination, reassurance, connection, belonging, bravery and even spontaneity. We're not going to tell you exactly what you'll find in each – well actually, we haven't bought one of each, so we don't know – but some contain origami stars, some have maps and others directions.

Proceeds from the artwork will go to local mental health organisations.

“We live in a society where, for most of us, our physical needs are largely met, but often our emotional and psychological lives go unfed,” Starmach said.

Commandeur explains: “In this fun, interactive artwork, we hope people find an unexpected way to talk about the things we all need more of in our minds, and increase their awareness of an important cause.”

Photograph: Supplied

The vending machine is at Martin Place until March 29, then moves to Customs House Square from March 30 to April 3 and then Pitt Street Mall from April 4-8.

Looking for more art around the city? Check out our hit-list of Sydney's best public art.

And see the latest artistic addition to Sydney's streets: Tracey Emin's 'The Distance of your Heart'.

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