The project started when English artist Maxwell Rushton tripped over a beanbag chair while leaving a building and turned around to apologize. In that moment he realized how accustomed he was to seeing and tripping over homeless people around London.
Inspired, Rushton created a sculpture that resembled a person covered in a refuse sack. This sculpture was then placed in various areas around London to see how people would react. With the help of Liam Thompson, a video was created to show different people’s reactions to the sculpture.
There was a wide-range of reactions from people that passed by. Some were concerned for the figure until they realized that in fact it was a sculpture. Many people, though, passed by like they didn’t see the sculpture at all.
Rushton said, “I made the sculpture in attempt to challenge and shock the public into seeing homeless in a more sympathetic light.”
One person in the video that connected with the sculpture said he saw the sculpture as a statement of society accustom to seeing homeless people as garbage.
Rushton is no amateur to thought-provoking pieces. His diverse projects have explored themes relating to globalization, psychoanalysis and commercial culture. His works have been described to have the ability to both shock and move his audience.
The video and sculpture does just that by balancing between the ability to shock and move the viewer. It touches on the serious issue that is plaguing society with how people view and treat the homeless. With the numbers on the rise, the project is calling out for people to no longer be blind to the issue.
Image Credit: Maxwell Rushton