Art exhibition gives homeless 'hope'
Published by Susan Littlemore for Riverside in Care and Support and also in Education
Guests admiring homeless artists' work at the exhibition
Homeless residents from Riverside ECHG’s Shaw Street housing and training centre in Liverpool have teamed up with a local Arts Hub to put on a unique arts exhibition.
Riverside’s partners in the exhibition are the co-operative ArtsHub47 which plays host to some of Liverpool’s brightest homeless artistic talents.
The new ‘Hope’ exhibition opened at the end of July 2013 and will be running until 28th August at the Arts Hub, 47 Lark Lane, Liverpool.
‘Hope’ is a collaboration between the Arts Hub and Shaw Street where service users are supported to find employment and permanent accommodation. There are also a wide range such as cooking, gardening and cycling. These activities develop confidence and enhance life skills for residents who are starting to rebuild their lives.
Riverside resident, Tommy who is 53, was street homeless and using cannabis before he came to Riverside. He says: “I’ve come such a long way since I’ve been at Shaw Street. I’d never even picked up a paintbrush until I started coming to the art sessions. I have found a new way to express myself.” Tommy is hoping to move into his own flat in the near future, and aspires to apply to University to study music.
Another resident, Garry is 34 and is a recovering alcoholic. He has lived in six different hostels over the past nine years. He explains, “I never thought I’d do art before I came here, I couldn’t even draw stick men at school!” Garry hopes to go to college and study to be a Mental Health Nurse.
Riverside’s manager at Shaw Street, Julie McInnes, said: “The residents’ artwork is for sale to raise funds for the Shaw Street Project’s Living Skills Fund, enabling ongoing activities for all residents. So we are really excited.”
Many thanks also go to Becka Griffin and the Committee of Arts Hub 47. Becka explained: “This collaboration came about due to my involvement with residents at the Shaw Street Project on a voluntary basis. I decided to suggest an exhibition at the Arts Hub, and the residents jumped at the opportunity. They have worked really hard to create a diverse collection of work for this exhibition, which we are all really enthusiastic about.”