By News Reporters
A group of homeless and vulnerably housed artists in Fitzrovia will hold their first major exhibition at the Coningsby Gallery in Tottenham Street this August. ARTfitzrovia is an art collective whose artists are either living on the streets, in sheltered accommodation or on the margins of society.
A spokesperson for the collective told Fitzrovia News: “Our members have a multitude of issues from mental health illnesses to substance abuse problems and often come to the group to escape from their despondent lives. The group is designed to give the members ownership of the organisation. The independence and responsibility this enables the group to have, builds their confidence and ability to interact in a community, ultimately skilling the members up to become beneficial participants in society.”
ARTfitzrovia meet weekly where the members paint, draw and discuss topics which are important to them. The group was born out of the Soup Kitchen at the American Church in London, Tottenham Court Road, where a small art group was held, this was developed further by long-term former Fitzrovia resident and artist Fiona Green.
Fiona Green told Fitzrovia News: “I think its quite ironic that a show by the half way housed is to be held in the gallery next door to my still empty former home in Tottenham Street.”
Now held in the community space at All Souls Clubhouse, Cleveland Street, the members of ARTfitzrovia have full ownership of the group, set the agenda and aim to run the group as an independent collective. Part of this will be to create revenue from selling their work and paying for the space and materials. Until then, the group is supported by small donations and volunteers.
Fitzrovia is known for its creative and bohemian side, at various times being home to Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and Arthur Rimbaud. However, as big money investment comes to Fitzrovia, community groups, such as ARTfitzrovia, bring together the less affluent side of this central London district to form a sense of community. Fitzrovia also has a huge amount of empty residential and commercial property as well as second homes.
The Coningsby Gallery is generously donating its space.
Wednesday – 28 August 2013 – 7pm – Private view.
29 – 30 August 2013 – Public view – 9am to 6pm.
Coningsby Gallery, 30 Tottenham Street, London, W1T 4RJ :: Nearest tube station: Goodge Street.
If you are interested in attending the private view and supporting this group to independence, please make contact. Jacob Evans | 07790402884 | firstname.lastname@example.org artfitzrovia.org