In 2013, the Foundling Museum hosted Exchange, a site-specific installation by leading ceramic artist Clare Twomey. Twomey inscribed individual good deeds onto over 1,000 cups and saucers, encouraging visitors to undertake these in exchange for keeping the cup.
During lockdown the Museum received an email from one of the recipients of a cup to say she’d finally completed her good deed. During a time when the country was rooting for the NHS and other unsung heroes, the team decided to revisit the installation and rekindle it in a digital format. When lockdown started to ease, Clare Twomey and Caro Howell, the Museum’s Director, made a short film introducing this digital campaign that you can watch below.
The public were invited to share a good deed of their own, or a deed done for them by someone else, on social media using the hashtag #kindnesscup in order to pass the kindness on. Participants in the campaign were asked to post a photo of either themselves drinking a cup of tea or their favourite coffee cup, and include a description of the good deed.
A selection of cups and saucers from the original Exchange installation went on view at the Museum during September 2020. Good deeds posted on social media were also displayed digitally in the museum throughout the month.