The now-internationally renowned transformer of urban spaces hung two bags from the hands of his ‘Southsea Hug’ everyman figure, one for giving and one for taking, with the purpose of encouraging the community to aid those in need.
My Dog Sighs explained: “Two years ago, I painted the ‘Southsea Hug’ on this wall. A message of positivity for the city I love. What I was struck by whilst painting it was the number of homeless that stopped to chat. Filling their empty day. Feeling the need to do something, I released Southsea Hug as a charity print and raised £3,000 for local homeless and mental health charities.
“From that point on I’d repaint the wall in December with a Christmas theme (the wall is between two schools) and again something cheerful in the spring. This year was no different, with an oversized ‘Everyman’ offering a ‘big hug’. Last weekend, a local tagger lined the piece out and wrote ‘FEED THE HOMELESS’. Kind of ironic seeing the back story you’ve just read.
“The text got me thinking, though. Do our deeds match our words? With this fresh on my mind, I repainted the wall with the text ‘ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS’, hung bags on the Everyman hands, and filled the bags with non-perishable foodstuffs. I pass the wall every day on my way to the studio, so this is something I can and will regularly do.
“If you’re local and you pass the wall, maybe you’d like to buy a few tinned or non perishable goods and pop them in the bag. If you’re local and in need, feel free to take something you need. Alternatively, there are a number of local food banks and homeless charities (some very close to the wall) that you can contact.”
“If you’re not local, you can still donate to your own local food banks and homeless shelters. If you don’t have the funds to do so, maybe you have a few hours you can spend donating your time.”