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Exhibition in Oxford gallery showcases art by people experiencing homelessness

today22/02/2024 58

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Homeless Oxfordshire is pioneering a remarkable exhibition titled “Through Our Eyes” at the Fusion Arts Gallery in Gloucester Green, Oxford. This unique showcase features art created by individuals experiencing homelessness, offering a compelling glimpse into their lives and perspectives.

The exhibition is designed to confront and challenge the stigma associated with homelessness by illustrating the inherent creativity and potential within everyone. Artworks on display are the result of art therapy sessions and creative workshops attended by Homeless Oxfordshire residents. These pieces vividly portray their emotions and life experiences, highlighting both the struggles and joys encountered by those living without a permanent home.

Simon Hewett-Avison, CEO of Homeless Oxfordshire, emphasized the therapeutic aspect of the art program: “Much of the work we do here at Homeless Oxfordshire supports individuals to process their experiences and express their feelings. Our regular art program provides an opportunity for our residents to do just that while being creative.”

The exhibition showcases a diverse range of mediums, from clay and chalk to acrylic and pencil, demonstrating the residents’ exploration of art under the guidance of local art teacher Vickie Kearney. Among the notable pieces are the mixed media collage “Chaos Factor” and a pen and ink creation inspired by prison life.

Vickie Kearney shared her experiences working with the residents: “Together with residents we have explored the artistic process, sometimes more independently and other times more collaboratively to support a growth in confidence and self-esteem. I have had the privilege to listen to experiences residents have been brave enough to share with the world through their artwork. It has been a pleasure and joy to support this creative process.”

Additionally, the charity collaborated with local mural artist Lisa Curtis, who led creative workshops and assisted residents in designing and painting a mural that will be featured at a Homeless Oxfordshire property.

Simon Hewett-Avison expressed his hope for the exhibition’s impact: “We hope the exhibition surprises and moves people. Homelessness is perhaps not a part of the community that people might associate with art, but our talented residents have shown that anyone can be creative.”

“Through Our Eyes” is open to the public at the Fusion Arts Gallery in Oxford from February 22 to March 7, Thursdays through Sundays. For more information, visit the Homeless Oxfordshire website at homelessoxfordshire.uk/through-our-eyes.

Written by: Hamish Law

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