COVID-19 will become a profound point in our history, how devastating or how transformative we are yet to find out. We are all still coming to terms with its effects on our lives both short term and long term. When the lockdown began the BUILDHOLLYWOOD family wanted to do something, to use our platform to say something simple, positive and galvanising. This campaign wasn’t intended as a PR stunt or even for people to know it came from us, just a positive gesture.
The posters and the message “Community is Kindness” have now been seen by millions of people, first in the streets of ten cities across the UK, then shared photos of these sites on social media, then picked up the the BBC ,The Independent, the Guardian and multiple other media outlets. Then it went global with agencies in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA using our artwork to share the posters and sentiment on their city streets. As public interest grew we even made the posters downloadable for people to print and put up in their windows at home. To try and keep spirits high we ran a second series of posters with the message “Community is Strength” which once again took over the nation. These posters have unintentionally become iconic pieces of art during the COVID-19 lock-down, used as images to accompany press stories, news bulletins and shared by influencers and celebrities on social media.
Amongst confusion and chaos a little ray of sunshine and positivity captured peoples imaginations and gained more meaning and power than was ever intended. We had to ask ourselves why? Yes a simple and positive message but there is something about the visceral, human context of the streets and the power of the medium. Printing on paper and pasting up in large formats made the message feel more profound and have far greater resonance than a fleeting digital image people scroll past in seconds. The medium elevated the message turning it into art.
As Alan de Botton points out in ‘How to Reform Capitalism. “We have collectively learned to admire the values of the arts in the special arena of galleries. But their more important application is in the general, daily fabric of our lives”.The daily fabric of our lives is the streets we walk through, the buildings we pass daily and places we meet with and interact with our community. This is what made this message and campaign so strong, so viral and so iconic.
– The Independent
– Jim (Hackney Wick)
– Flora (East London)