Radical Kindness mural captures community spirit during pandemic

COMMUNITY moments of kindness throughout the Covid-19 pandemic are captured in a ‘Radical Kindness Project’ mural which has been unveiled at Spindles Shopping Centre in Oldham.

Taking the form of a seed bursting with new life, new hope and potential, the finished artwork was launched on Friday, June 25 by the Mayor of Oldham Cllr Jenny Harrison.

Rebecca May and Michael Wild, of social arts practice May Wild Studio in Delph, were asked by charity Action Together to work on the participatory public artwork: The Radical Kindness Project, Oldham.

Radical Kindness Project mural Rebecca May Jenny Harrison and Michael Wild

Through accounts, photos and drawings, Rebecca and Michael’s work interprets and tells the stories of community moments of kindness throughout the pandemic.

Rebecca said: “When we were first approached by Action Together, who commissioned us to do this artwork, we were a bit concerned about how we would be able to gather the stories.

“A lot of work was done remotely, but with the support of the Oldham communities we have produced a finished piece that is a celebration of all of those acts of kindness.

“When we first started, we had no idea how the artwork was going to look, but one of the first stories we received talked about how the gifts of nature played a role in supporting people’s mental health.

“Not being able to go outside for more than an hour in those early days of lockdown meant that, suddenly, outdoor spaces had a very important role to play in our daily lives.

“That really planted the initial seeds of how the artwork should look, and it represents the idea of spring, new life and new hope for a brighter future as we emerge from this pandemic.”

The Mayor Cllr Harrison said: “I am delighted and proud to cut the ribbon and launch this fantastically simple piece of art: Radical Kindness, Oldham’s Mural, titled ‘Seed’.

“I would give my thanks to all involved, and to the wonderful people of Oldham who’ve told their powerful stories that are represented in the seeds.

“When the nation first went into lockdown on March 26, for many it created a sense of fear, isolation, loss of jobs and, tragically for some, the loss of a loved one.

“In Oldham, it led to a groundswell of community kindness in the hearts of the people of our borough, and this work of art is a celebration of all of those heart-warming acts of kindness during this time.”

• Stories are still be added to the Seed Bank archive, and you can still grow the seed and add your kindness story by emailing: radicalkindnessoldham@gmail.com

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