Unsolicited Compassion was a five day exhibition with pop-up installations around Falmouth High Street in Cornwall, exploring the complexities and pitfalls of engaging with the needs of others. It was the culmination of research, conversations and observations for my final MA Communication Design project with Falmouth University, exploring how we can continue to show compassion in a world bombarded with tragic news and daily disaster.
Each of the exhibits were site specific, such as a flashing neon sign in a shop window to illustrate how you can't switch compassion on and off, or a street sign mounted to a lamppost showing that "sometimes it's more compassionate to walk by". Other installations were more subtle, such as a clock engraved with the words "compassion takes time" put in the window of an antique shop, or the redefinition of compassion as a verb placed in the dictionary at Falmouth Library. One of the installations was interactive, walking around the town with charity boxes and asking people what compassion costs them.
Members of the public were invited to write or draw what compassion means to them on the back of a postcard, and post it through the gallery door. With more than 130 responses, the postcards were featured on Instagram using the #unsolicitedcompassion hashtag.