"Hi, my name's Julian and I'm 42. I live alone and am finding this lockdown very hard! Living alone is fine when there's work to go to and friends and family to visit.
I've developed my art project, The Art of Kindness, over the last few years. When I used to live in Easton, I spotted some grafitti on my cycle into work one day which said 'Looking Good'. It really cheered me up and I'd look forward to seeing it on my daily cycle. I'm in 12-Step recovery and we use lots of short phrases like 'This, Too, Shall Pass' and they help me lots. So my art is a combination of what I love most, and the idea that we are all artists, and all need beautiful things and words to lift our spirits on a day-by-day basis.
My messages seem to be really resonating with people right now- I'm getting so much lovely encouragement from people I know and strangers! I used to be more political and environmental in my messages, but now realise that what we all need more than anything is reassuring and encouraging words while we navigate life. Kindness is a powerful force, perhaps the most powerful one?
My favourite message is 'You have cute elbows' as it makes people chuckle, and it resonates with me as I believe everyone is beautiful, in many ways.
My favourite location is Riverside Park in St. Pauls, as I've lived in Easton, and passing through the park, I've often found it sad how there is often less beauty in deprived parts of Bristol than in well-to-do ones- I hope my art helps a bit to redress this, as beautiful environments make us kinder people, in my humble opinion.
I started to work as a Teaching Assistant before lockdown, but it was agency work so I'm living on Universal Credit for now, and started using the foodbank for the first time ever last week. It is a humbling time for me, but also wonderful to see how kind people are being to me personally and more widely at this time of crisis. I've got back far more than I've given!"
Julian Wood, 11/07/2020.