Giving Hands

Giving Hands

Sculpted cupped hands with a small parcel of ‘gift’, which the visitors to the exhibition can take or place a ‘gift’ of their own for others.



Anna Masters is a mixed media and installation artist. Her practice examines the transformational qualities of time, context and actions upon the value systems and symbolism that are embedded in the objects around us.



The wicked headteacher

The wicked headteacher

I passed my eleven plus exam and was required to attend a very posh grammar school. I came from a poor background. My dad was a postman and my mum was a housewife. Consequently, when I started grammar school, I had a second hand uniform, was unable to attend school trips and didn’t have indoor and outdoor shoes which infuriated the Head Teacher.

During the whole time I was at the school, the head teacher made my life a misery. The final straw came when I had a nervous breakdown when I was fifteen. She said that I cast a shadow on the school’s reputation, that I was going nowhere and that I would end up being no good.

However, despite this, I passed 8 GCE ‘O’ levels and managed to get a position as Lab Technician at a British branch of an American company near where I lived.

After I had been working there for about three months, the managing director asked to see me in his office. I was terrified. No-one ever had personal interviews with him! When I arrived, he had tea and cake with me and told me that the head of the lab was very pleased with both my work ethic and general attitude. The head of the lab had said that this was quite unusual because I had been given a dreadful reference from my head teacher at the grammar school. The reference had arrived by request from the company several weeks after I had started at the company. The reference had been brought to the attention of the personnel department because it was so unlike the person they had got to know.

The managing director said that it was a huge disadvantage to me having such a negative start to my working life. In front of me, he tore up the reference and showed me a copy of a new reference that he said would follow me in the future. It was glowing.

I will never forget his kindness to me.

Great Yarmouth, UK


Artist’s response

Sometimes, life feels easier to blame others for the faults and failures. However, the storyteller refused to play the victim. I was inspired by the story as he/she/they instead chose to persevere despite the setback.
My response visually points to the phrase ‘the world is your oyster’, a reminder that we have the opportunity to strive and make positive impact on our lives.

Perhaps the ‘kind boss’ helped reaffirm his/her/their integrity. The lesson shared here, I felt, is that recognising the generosity of others is just as important as being kind to others.


Kazz Morohashi is an illustrator, designer and creative producer interested in creating spaces for purposeful conversations. She uses different media including needle felted puppets and stop-motion animations to create her images. She, together with her husband Ralph Paprzycki, is the co-founder of the Museum of Human Kindness project.

Instagram: kazzmorohashi

A windy day

A windy day

It was a very windy day. I parked my car outside of the Forum to unload my carefully packed kits of felt I made for the art market that day. A gust of wind took them up out of my hands and scattered them all over the Norwich market.

A lady saw and rushed over to help. Later that morning, she came to my table at the Forum. She said she had spent all morning searching for any more missing felt kits. She found two!

Norwich, UK


Artist’s response

I was struck by how a complete stranger not only rushed to help but then went on to spend even more time searching for the missing kits. In a world were we’re often rushing around with our own To do list, the fact that somebody put that aside to help another, I found deeply moving.

Claire Atherton is an abstract artist and freelance creative practitioner who is passionate about the environment, particularly the stunning Norfolk coastline. Her aim through her creative practice and facilitation is to create a sense of place for people to enable them to take pride in where they choose to call home.


I’m an Abstract Artist & Freelance Creative Practitioner, so no 2 days are ever the same!! In my artistic practice I play with paint to create abstract artworks and also experiment with clay to produce ceramic sculptures.

Alone in India

Alone in India

I was travelling around India alone. One evening at twilight, I caught a tuk-tuk from a Buddhist shrine back to my accommodation in Mumbai. I felt rather nervous as I’d stayed out longer than anticipated and was unsure about being out after dark.

As we entered the city, the tuk-tuk driver pulled over to the side of the road to buy some street food. I assumed he was grabbing a snack for himself, but to my surprise, he handed the food to me! He spoke not a word of English and I not a word of HIndi, but we shared the food with not a word spoken, just smiles. I was so touched by his kindness.


Artist’s response

In response to the story, Alone in India, Patel has played on the idea of food, heritage, communication and memory by inviting viewers to join him in a shared eating experience, via a television screen from his childhood.


Erin Patel is a Photographer and Arts Educator. His personal work centres around his experience of being raised in a mixed heritage household; exploring themes of nostalgia and diaspora within the Irish and Indian cultural identity.




I was hitchhiking in Scotland once where I flew in from Morocco from the trip that went wrong. I only had summer clothes and it was raining and getting dark. We lost hope when a guy stopped to pick us up. He was wearing Elvis Presley clothes (as he was going to some Elvis Presley party) and he was specialised in evoking in paranormal activities. He drove us 50 miles and didn’t want to leave us in the dark alone in wet weather. He tried to leave us for the night with his parter (who was a witch hunter) but she refused in the end. He bought us Premier Inn with breakfast!

Norwich, UK

Artist’s response

As soon as I read the letter from Ingrid, I reveled in its narrative potential – Mystery, Supernature, Strange-ness, Quirkiness and of course an icon, the ICON; his voice, his beauty and his ‘otherworldliness’.

Elvis, the King, or in this case, Elvis, the KIND.


The drama and atmosphere of Ingrid’s story unfolded in my mind as clearly as if I were watching a movie.


I explored a few different ways of presenting it so as to capture the imagery, colour, movement, atmosphere, texture, viscerality and temperature that I ‘got’ from it.


I was going to create an abstract Elvis around a tailor’s dummy with angel wings and a steering wheel for a halo but I do not yet have the skills to build that! It might happen, one day!


It has been a joy to dip in and out of the playful messiness of collage; the layering, the writing, the editing, the printing, the cutting and pasting!

I played Elvis songs as I worked and played.


Kentucky Rain played in my head, on a loop!


I took artistic liberties with the lyrics and ingrid’s story in that her experience was set in Scotland but there was no specific place name so I changed Kentucky to Inverallochy.


A friend of mine came to stay with me very recently and saw the picture. She loved the whole idea of the picture and the Museum of Human Kindness project and wanted to contribute with a musical arrangement of Kentucky Rain to go with the musical notes that rain down throughout the picture.


I quickly wrote some lyrics based on Ingrid’s story, emailed them to her and she arranged, sang and recorded it within a day. We hope Ingrid likes it!


(Click here to listen to the song.) 


Verse 1.


Apocalyptic holidays had left us in a haze,

The plane touched down and we were left alone.

The rain was pouring down, deep rivers ran the ground

And there was no juice left in either mobile phone.


Our clothes were wet right through, the rain filled up my shoe,

We looked like luggage left in ‘lost and found’

Shorts and sandals on, we were dressed all wrong,

Darkness was falling all around.




‘verallochy rain kept falling down, down, down,

We looked like rats that just might drown, drown, drown.

A random act of kindness was all we required,

Some good will and some generosity.


Verse 2.


We stepped into the road, with our heavy load,

But hadn’t packed a brolly or a mack.

A long, lonely highway was all we could see,

We prayed to God that he might set us free.


God got right back with a pithy pitch, ‘Keep the Faith and Dare to Hitch!’

We reached right out a thumbin’ for a ride.

Our lives about to end, but just around the bend,

A light appeared and we felt warm inside.




‘verallochy rain kept falling down, down, down,

We looked like rats that might just drown, drown, drown.

A random act of kindness was all we required,

Some good will and some generosity.


Verse 3.


The light grew bright and brighter still and you could never guess the thrill,

When a car drew up with Elvis at the wheel.

He said ‘Uh Huh, Uh Huh, through the rain I saw ya Huh,

Where ya bound on such a frightful night?’


He said ‘Git inside the car, are you goin’ far?’

We said ‘any place is better’n where we are.’

He laughed with us and said, ‘We’ve all been left for dead,

So let’s get down the road and back to life instead!’




‘verallochy rain kept falling down, down, down,

Elvis the king he wore the crown, crown, crown,

A random act of kindness was all we required,

He saved us with his generosity.


Verse 4.


He drove on for 50 miles our faces lit up with wide smiles,

And he said ‘Since my baby left me I could die.

But you’ll see, down this street, you simply cannot beat

a good night’s sleep at Heartbreak Hotel!’


He dropped us off outside, we said, ‘thank you for the ride’,

And he said, ‘Man, it was a pleasure and a treat,

And here’s a roll o’ cash, on food and board to splash’

Then he disappeared for ever from our lives.




‘verallochy rain kept falling down, down, down,

Elvis the king he wore the crown, crown, crown,

A random act of kindness was all we required,

He saved us with his generosity


Lyrics, Rebecca Chapman


Musical Arrangement and Vocals, Jo Collins MBE



As well as engagements with various theatre and dance companies she makes and directs original, ensemble theatre productions.  She is the Artistic Director and Founder of Total Ensemble Theatre Company