If you passed through Liverpool Street, St Paul’s or Holborn station this morning, you might have spotted Art on the Underground’s latest project. Acts of Kindness is a new art display on the Central Line created by Michael Landy.
The project celebrates the ordinary (but rare?) acts of generosity and compassion that take place on the Tube. Landy started by inviting London Underground customers and staff to submit their stories of kindness to the TfL website. The artist selected his favourites and has created posters for stations along the Central line retelling the stories.
Look out for further work coming to Holland Park, Hangar Lane and Leyton, as well as on the trains themselves.
Landy says he’s interested the exchange between strangers in an act of kindness.
“It’s a gesture of trust between two people. There’s a risk in that. They may just ignore you or take it the wrong way. I’m fascinated by when you see people prepared to give up something for somebody they don’t know. I think sometimes it’s easier to remember those times when people have been unkind. But once you start to notice kindness you see it happening more and more.”
And by drawing attention to this kindness, perhaps Landy’s hoping we’ll see it happening more? Or are you a Central Line cynic, unimpressed by other people’s sickly sentimental stories?
Photos by Daisy Hutchison