Hug Bag was commissioned by People United and Newington Big Local in 2016, funded by The Big Lottery Fund and Newington Big Local.
Artists Thor McIntyre-Burnie, Chloe Osborne and Kati Francis explored the theme of kindness with residents in Newington, Ramsgate through a series of sensory play labs.
The project culminated as an interactive outdoor installation titled Hug Bag – Kindness Investigation Sensory System [KISS] and was revealed at the local community arts festival, Best Fest.
It’s clear the impact the project has had on all the participants – wonderful. So impressed and I absolutely love Hug Bag. Hazel Stone, Sidney Cooper Gallery
Each hug bag represented acts of kindness shared by local people. When hugged, they emitted sensory clues to tell stories such as a grandma who sang lullabies or the smell of lemon pancakes made with love.
Chloe Osborne described it as “a metaphor for the community as a giant nervous system. The more we practice kindness as individuals; the plasticity of the human brain allows us to develop kinder attitudes and behaviours.”
Hug Bag was exhibited at Best Fest 2016 and attracted 440 visitors, the project actively engaged 150 residents.