The first of four exhibitions has opened showcasing work created as part of Hidden Voices, an initiative aimed to unlock the voices and creative talents of the 60 homeless people living rough on the streets of Hull who are fed twice a week by St Mary’s Church in Lowgate, will open.
Hidden Voices is one of 60 new projects to receive funding through the Hull 2017 Creative Communities Programme, which is being delivered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund.
This first exhibition, Made in Hull: Made from Hull, will document and explore the terminology of ‘Rootlessness’ and ‘Homelessness’, exploring the problems of engagement and interaction from both sides: how those who exist within the apparently normal frameworks of society engage with those who are considered outsiders, and vice versa, as well as considering the fundamentals of these frameworks.
Two local artists, Louie Dorton and St Mary’s resident artist Marcel Craven, who has himself experienced homelessness, have been unlocking these hidden voices and creative talent through weekly artistic sessions open to the homeless people who receive food from St Mary’s, exploring life stories and creativity using items discarded by others.
Rev Paul Burkitt from St Mary’s Church, said: “There is a gaping void for those who are rough sleepers, sofa hoppers, hostel dwellers, foreign strangers and people who pilgrimage through the darkness of actual and borderline mental illnesses. We see them all and it is desperately clear that the void is not being enabled or that they are even allowed to tell their stories and find their own sense of creativity. Feeding and housing the body is one thing and an essential start in the therapeutic process, but as a church, as a community, as a city, we can progress to provide some kind of nourishment for the soul, a sense of personal identity and dignity.”
Martin Green, CEO and Creative Director at Hull 2017, said: “Hidden Voices is far more than a creative initiative. Most of the people who are homeless have a unique view on life and culture, and a creative core that has few avenues of expression. This project will be profoundly life-expanding for those involved.”
The work created by the project will evolve over the year and will be displayed in four exhibitions themed around Hull 2017’s seasons. The first exhibition will be held at St Mary the Virgin Church, Lowgate, Hull on the following dates:
Saturday 18 March, 4-6pm
Tuesday 21 March, 11am-3pm
Thursday 23 March, 11am-3pm
Friday 24 March, 6-8pm
Tuesday 28 March, 11am-3pm
Thursday 30 March, 11am-3pm
Friday 31 March, 6-8pm
The first exhibition will feature: ‘The Begging Door’, an architectural feature of St. Mary’s, which will be used for the basis of an installation work that encourages interactive consideration of the terminology of begging through viewing and game playing; a ‘Psych Geographic Map’ will highlight placement and positioning and cause and effect within and outside of the framework; a soundscape will give visitors the opportunity to consider role and positioning; and there will also be visual stimuli by those who attend the work groups.