Gallery features homeless artists’ work

published on 25 Jul 2014

Booth Centre residents in Southampton have enjoyed a six-week showing of their artwork at Southampton City Art Gallery.

Six weekly art sessions with artist Jo Bressloff allowed residents the opportunity to produce artwork which has been displayed and sold to gallery visitors. Some of the profits will benefit Booth Centre’s H20 social enterprise project – which includes a café, food delivery and furniture recycling projects providing residents opportunities to learn valuable new skills and build their confidence.

Matthew Smith (Programme Co-ordinator, H20 Project), said: ‘In linking up with Southampton City Council, we have been able to encourage residents to try new activities and as a result seen their confidence increase as they discovered skills they didn’t realised they have.’

Scott Wray, aged 24, moved into Booth Centre almost eight months ago and although he didn’t feel artistic enough to do the classes, decided to attend. He said: ‘I hadn’t done any artwork in the past so didn’t think I’d be very artistic. Now I feel quite artistic, especially when everyone told me [my work] was better than theirs!

‘I like playing computer games so painted a creature from Minecraft on a canvas flag and did a flag with doves, butterflies, flowers and a heart on it with the writing “All you need is love”.

‘When I first arrived at the Booth Centre, I used to sit in my room and spend time by myself. Since then I’ve been getting involved in the activities, like the art classes, and working in the café - I’ve been less depressed and it has built my confidence.’