London Underground has unveiled the first of a series of artworks for Acts of Kindness, an art project by Michael Landy RA.
Earlier this year, Landy asked London Underground customers and staff for their stories of everyday acts of kindness, generosity and compassion on the Tube. The resulting stories (over 200 have been submitted so far) can be viewed on the project's website and Landy has selected a number of them to incoporate into banners and posters across Central Line stations and trains.
"I'm using the motif of the Central Line, the idea of self and other, and the whole idea of the Central Line being connected by stations - I liked the idea of people being connected in that way as well," Landy says.
In his work Break Down (2001), Landy famously catalogued and then destroyed everything he owned, in a performance piece that took place over two weeks in a former department store building on Oxford Street.
“One of the questions that motivated Break Down was what makes us human, more than just being consumers," Landy says.
"I guess I wanted to take that a step further. I was looking for the right situation to explore what value kindness has, what it means, and what kind of exchange is involved in giving someone a helping hand.”
The first Acts of Kindness stories have appeared at Liverpool Street, St. Paul’s and Holborn Central Line stations. Holland Park, Hanger Lane and Leyton will follow.