Lifehouse residents to exhibit work as part of BBC Get Creative Festival

published on 10 May 2021

James Lee House art
Painting by a resident from James Lee House

Residents from a Salvation Army Lifehouse in Warrington are to exhibit art they have produced during lockdown as part of the BBC Get Creative Festival.

The art therapy group at James Lee House, which provides supported accommodation for men and women who were homeless, were invited to create pieces based on the theme of isolation and loneliness for this year’s festival, which runs from 8 to 16 May.

The work, including paintings, drawings and pottery, will be exhibited in the chapel of the Brick Street site and photos submitted to festival organisers. The annual festival is as a way of celebrating and showcasing creativity in the community.

James Lee’s art therapy teacher Debbie Lyon said: “This year our art has been our lifeline through difficult times and provided an escape for our residents. The theme of isolation and loneliness is something they have really felt as social gatherings have been restricted.”

This year our art has been our lifeline through difficult times and provided an escape for our residents.
Art therapy teacher Debbie Lyon

Debbie, who has been running the art therapy group for three years, has been really impressed by the standard of work produced by residents over the last year.

She explained: “During lockdown we had one gentleman who spent pretty much every opportunity at the pottery wheel in our art workshop. He recently moved to his new place and took a whole body of work with him – perfectly shaped vases and bowls. He is now going on to study an accredited pottery course.

“Another resident was fascinated by the Egyptian artefacts he’d seen after I took him to Warrington Art Gallery. He is really focused and spends every opportunity painting or making ceramic figures. I bought him an Egyptian book and he studied it inside out, he looked at hieroglyphics, what they might mean and has added them to his paintings.

“Another, who had never done art before, developed a real interest in painting, clay and photography and she is now starting a photography course."

James Lee House art
Art works by residents at James Lee House

Residents have previously exhibited at events like the Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival and other local cultural events.

Debbie added: “We have taken part in the BBC Get Creative initiative before and had work displayed at the Golden Gate outside the town hall in Warrington. This year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we will exhibit in our chapel so all of our residents can come and see. We’re also working on an exhibition for Warrington Corps (church) so will have an opening night and a bit of celebration now things are starting to open up.”

For more information on the Get Creative Festival 2021 click here

To donate to the art therapy group click here

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