People United and the Southbank Centre co-commissioned artist Sarah Carne to create socially engaged artwork for the 2015 Festival of Love.
Sarah spent time at the Southbank Centre talking to the community of people who use and pass through the communal space, including members, staff and visitors. At the start of the project Sarah said…
I intend to investigate the impulses that influence how we acknowledge those we encounter, and question whether they are instinctive or learnt behaviours. By questioning the emotions and thoughts that are generated in these micro-moments, I hope to be able to devise a series of invitations or questions that can be catalysts for the creation of genuinely positive moments of connection that, for want of a more restrained word, we might call love.
By installing prompts in the form of videos, text and spoken word Sarah invited and encouraged moments of interaction between people. Her final video shares 100 answers to the question: What would prompt you to talk to a stranger?
The Love commission required me to make connections. In my own work, how I work, who I work with, but most importantly with the people of the Royal Festival Hall. Sarah Carne, Artist
This video invites people to look up, from their papers, from their phones. It was the first video of the series and was screened from day one of the Festival of Love. It was shown at 20 minute intervals on all the public screens in the Festival Hall.
In the final video of This is a Public Service Announcement viewers see the answers 100 visitors and members of staff at the Royal Festival Hall gave to the question: What would prompt you to talk to a stranger? It was screened on Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August 2015, the last day of the Festival of Love.