05 July 2012
Without Walls is an exhibition of art by people who are, or have been, homeless.
The exhibition is being hosted by The Guardian in partnership with homelessness charity St Mungo's and community arts projects Homeless Diamonds and Cafe Art. The curatorial team was led by Mark, a former St Mungo's resident, who initiated the project and gave it its title.
Mark, aged 51, said: "Living in a St Mungo's hostel gave me a physical and psychological space to rediscover painting. I started to paint a lot and the interest the staff showed gave what I was doing an added dimension. Painting became a bridge connecting me to others.
"I became aware that many creative people lived within the hostel environment. This set me thinking: what if we had a space to exhibit where the work would really be seen? Would it challenge conceptions of who homeless people are? Would homeless people see themselves as empowered? I took the step of approaching The Guardian to inspire myself and other homeless people, to raise the bar on our expectations of what we have to contribute and how it may be received."
"Without Walls is intentionally ambiguous. Walls can give shelter, protect or confine. And what of psychological walls and how they support our reality constructs for better or worse? The exhibition is therefore deliberately un-themed to avoid placing the artists in a ‘homeless' box and better reflect each individual's choices, interests and perceptions."
The exhibition is open to the public throughout August. It will feature work in a range of media by around 30 artists who are currently or used to be homeless, some St Mungo's clients, others not.
David Devoy, Regional Director of St Mungo's, said: "Our congratulations to Mark and The Guardian and indeed all those clients, staff and volunteers who've put such energy into creating this inspiring exhibition. It is a great showcase of the creativity that we see regularly among those we support, often some of the most unappreciated people in society but with great talents within. This exhibition is an incredible opportunity to highlight these talents as London celebrates its diversity to the world during the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Contact Judith Higgin, St Mungo's, on 020 8762 5645, email: email@example.com
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