Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Michael Landy - Acts of Kindness

So much public art installed around London looks very expensive; even some installations that are intended to have a short life. What may well have started on paper as a good idea, at an acceptable cost, can result in huge installation costs, and sometimes to require large budgets for their upkeep.

That’s one reason why I’m very taken by the Acts of Kindness, a project by artist Michael Landy, which records and celebrates everyday generosity and compassion on the London Underground. Landy invited passengers and staff to send in stories of kindness that they had seen or been part of on the Tube.

It is simple, comes from real people, telling their own stories, and must have been one of the cheapest public art projects ever. It is simply printed on vinyl sheets and stuck on appropriate walls on the Tube for all to see. The stories I've seen are warming, and bring a smile to the face.

My only mild quibble is that it would have been nice to have translations: in this Olympic Year it would be good for our foreign visitors to read about some of the better things that happen.

Hear Michael Landy talking about the project here.

Many more tales have been submitted than can be installed: you can read them here.

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