LJMU student hosts public engagement event at Tate Liverpool to break the stigma of homelessness
Narratives of Homelessness is a public engagement event at Tate Exchange involving the creation of robotics, 3D models and sculptures using recycled and decommissioned electrical components.
Participants will include former rough sleepers who are now living in supported accommodation, who will be sharing their experiences both through the exhibition itself and a specially created film.
It is a collaboration between ART LABS at LJMU, Chester Aid to the Homeless (CATH) and Tate Liverpool.
History of art final year student Callum Craddock helped to develop the project with Dr Juliet Carroll of LJMU ART LABS through volunteering with CATH at their day centre in Chester to gain a better understanding of the issues surrounding homelessness.
Service users were encouraged to take part in art sessions, which focused on the theme of the cycle of the seasons to reflect changes in their own lives. The sessions provided a form of therapy enabling participants to express their feelings through painting.
These completed pieces will be put on display as part of the exhibition at Tate Exchange with the artists also invited to the gallery for six days to work on new sculptures using discarded electronics in front of a public audience.
Visitors are invited to ask questions, start a conversation and participate in the exhibition, with the aim of breaking down barriers.
Callum said: “Members of the public, our own History of art students and invited visitors can sit down and create their own sculptures.
“The aim for the project is that the informal atmosphere will create a space to encourage conversations about homelessness and allow people to develop a greater understanding about the issues.
“We hope to challenge some of the stereotypes that surround homelessness and rough sleeping, particularly substance and alcohol abuse, and use art to raise awareness.”
Callum will be participating in Narratives of Homelessness at Tate Exchange every day and has prepared a series of his own photographs to display that explore many of the symbols and associated stereotypes of rough sleeping.
The engagement event will be part of Callum’s major project, which will be to create a final exhibition using paintings from the Tate collection based on a theme of homelessness.
CATH education manager John Buchanan said: “It’s an engagement project for homeless people or vulnerably housed people.
“The idea is that we engage with our clients in the most positive and therapeutic manner and we feel that art fits that bill.”
He added: “Art provides quite literally a blank canvas for our clients to explore their own feelings, we don’t ask them to do anything specific – whatever they do comes from somewhere within them.
“What we’re hoping is that whatever feelings they’ve got locked away are released on to whatever canvas we’re using – that’s the benefit of art.”
Narratives of Homelessness will be open to the public from Monday 5 March until Saturday 10 March from 12noon until 3.30pm.
Watch more interviews about the project