The installation, which is titled Find The Words, takes the form of uplifting messages and phrases which will pop up around the Marylebone district in various different forms, including as a giant font made of reflective material and as small, almost secret, handwritten signs.
“It’s an amazing privilege to be creating artwork in such a wonderful location,” said Leek, who is best known for his Notes to Strangers posters. These posters, which contained positive affirmations and words of encouragement, made the news in 2016 after they started cropping up throughout the city.
“If pasting up thousands of notes on streets across the world has taught me anything, it’s the power the right combination of words read at the right time can have,” said Leek about his latest major project. “I’ve tried my very hardest to put as much hope, kindness and positivity into the words and the artwork I’ve created in the area.”
“It’s my sincere hope that these installations make a little bit of a positive difference to people’s days.”
During October, limited editions of Leek’s famous notes will also be available for free in various shops throughout the district – but first you’ve got to find them. Andy (@notestostrangers) and Portman Marylebone (@portmanmarylebone) will be sharing clues on their social media accounts about where they are hidden.
Then, when the area-wide installation comes to a close at the end of the month, the artwork– which will include bunting as well as colourful and hand-painted plant installations – will be auctioned off, with profits going to charity.
Leek began his career working in advertising, before becoming an artist. He told London Live in 2015: “I had just had a bit of time off work due to a mental health problem, and I noticed that a lot of people were struggling with feeling happy on the way to work. So I wanted to give people a little boost on the way to work.”
Since then, the artist’s projects have included paintings, illustrations, and graffiti works, such as his Gold Star initiative, where Leek put gold stars on graffiti artists’ works.
“At school I never got a gold star, I definitely seek the approval that I never got then, through my art work now,” he said on his website. “There are some insanely talented graffiti artists, and I wanted to show them that someone thinks their work is beautiful.”
Find The Words, September 13 to October 29, Portman Marylebone