An exhibition that reflects on our lives during these unexpected times experienced during lockdown. Bringing together artworks created over the last year which cast back on the individual experiences of identity, culture, mental well-being and homelessness. Together we appreciate the stories and journeys from within our community by considering how we care for ourselves and each other, whilst exploring and sharing the experiences which bring us together.
Yasmin Falahat, SPACE commissioned artist 2021, ceramics, weave hangings created by participants from Empowering the Deaf Society.
Sharing food in most cultures and households represents a way of caring for one another. Cooking for loved ones, helping prepare food with friends or family, helping to carry food from the local fruit and veg market, are all small examples of how we show care towards one another. Yasmin’s fruit and vegetable ceramic pieces tell the stories of local people, their journey and memories of their shared love of food and experiences. Each ceramic fruit/vegetable was chosen by a local resident.
Yasmin worked with Empowering the Deaf Society on a weaving project, to create a narrative with textile and colours about what care means to them.
Mareike Günsche, Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U)
Photographic portraits and quotes by Positive East participants and community residents.
A collaborative and participatory project organised by Positive East and SPACE. The workshop focused on ‘HIV Treatment as Prevention’, which has significantly changed how we talk about HIV. People living with HIV and on effective treatment cannot pass on HIV. This is sometimes known as Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U). People who are HIV negative can also take HIV treatment before and after sex to prevent HIV transmission.
Many people continue to be affected by HIV, whether they are living with HIV, or know someone who is living with HIV. HIV is now a manageable long-term health condition but many people aren’t aware of this and the developments that have been made. By highlighting HIV affects us all, the workshops looked at our identities, experiences and the role we play in ending new cases of HIV.
Through discussions, group work and playful artistic visualisation we exchanged knowledge and narratives about HIV. The outcome of this project created the photographic portraits, artwork and quotes which will serve as a visual quotation of the HIV memorial quilt.
Tamu Nkiwane, MyZine
Commissioned by SPACE, MyZine is the result of a lockdown project led by Tamu and a group of young people in Redbridge during the Covid-19 pandemic. At a time when many felt isolated, and were sharing a sense of anxiety and unease about the future, the project provided opportunities for fun and self-expression, connecting young people with creative possibilities.
In the early days of lockdown, no one was able to travel or leave their house. SPACE organised art materials to be delivered directly to each participant’s home. The result is a glorious 180 page publication containing drawings, paintings, poems and stories from 11 – 18 year olds residents of Redbridge.
Alaa Alsaraji, Redbridge Nature Guide
A collaboration between SPACE’s programme associate Alaa Alsaraji and Redbridge Youth Councils ‘Keeping Redbridge Wild’ project, the guide explores the themes of nature and wellbeing.
After a series of photography workshops with the artist, each young person selected the green spaces they valued the most. In the accompanying text, you can read what these spaces mean to them and about their creative process capturing these often overlooked areas of their communities.
The guide acts as a collective documentation, celebrating these invaluable local spaces which have provided a respite and connection with nature for the young people throughout the pandemic.
Donna Riddington, Grow Zone logo
Donna worked with Redbridge Youth Council to imagine symbols and signs that capture ideas about nature protection and how we each enjoy connecting with wildlife areas. We care enough to identify wild spaces to others by leaving a sign or marker. The new Grow Zone logo will let people know that these places of wild beauty are home to all kinds of wildlife and growth, which is important for all of us.
Projects from The Creative Space, Arlington
Isa Suarez, Inspirational memories in lockdown
Music created by The Creative Space Arlington homeless hostel resident participants
During the challenging pandemic period, making music, performing and writing/recording songs on zoom or outdoors has been a form of mutual and self-care for music group participants. By doing so, they focused on the healing practice of their music. Current band members and new participants performed and created new material featured in this video and also play and sing their songs from LIFE, their debut album.
Federico Gallo, Care to Create
Two Mix Media Collages, 2021
The art class focuses on self-perception and self-representation. During the process of mixing different techniques and media (drawing, painting, collage, photography) the participants experiment and express themselves whilst being introduced to fine and commercial art. During the workshops, art making becomes a tool for self investigation while the group is involved in a discussion that feeds and contributes to the creative process. From book references and art critic the objective of the activities is to create a playful atmosphere, improving skills and externalising what is inside. The artwork is an extension of the self and the works aim to reflect our inner thoughts, encapsulating our fears and desires during a challenging, yet creative time.
Crestina Velia Forcina, photo collage
The images in this collage were taken over a one-year period from spring 2020 – 2021 by participants from The Creative Space photography workshops. During online weekly Zoom sessions, participants shared and talked about the images they took with their smartphones. Through the act of taking images, they created their own sense of self-care by attending the sessions and capturing the things they came across. Some of these mattered a lot to them, some were exercises on recording their impressions, or experiments with light and shadow. Among the subjects are used gloves, a nurtured house plant, the furry companion, the person begging on the street, the essential worker, objects arranged at home and those found during daily walks. The images were later collaged by the workshop participants, including those newly joined, when we met once again in person.
Silvia Sacrestano, textile collage
During this pandemic year 2020/21 the Arlington residents have been experimenting with various fashion techniques creating face masks on zoom.
The group used prints from previous years’ projects (handmade painted cushions from 2019) and created a collage of different funky fashion collections with Covid face masks.
Please take note of the intricate, handcrafted, unique, and differently styled pieces.
Brian Baderman, Care
Incorporating original pieces by participants of a weekly art and creative writing workshop at The Creative Space programme at Arlington. Workshop participants explore loss, hope, and aspiration through words and images. Facilitated by Brian Baderman, a graduate of the RCA.