Art tackles homelessness

Community event.
Community event.

Homelessness charity Crisis has held a one-off Urban Art Workshop for young people in Barnsley, including Barnsley East, led by Vapour Creations artist Philip Padfield.

The event on November 15 and 16 saw Philip meet residents at The Forge, an accommodation project for young homeless people in Barnsley managed by South Yorkshire Housing Association (SYHA), and guide them as they created a bespoke piece of urban wall art using aerosols.

Before the session, Philip met with the young residents to brainstorm ideas and themes. The group decided to create a unique piece of art illustrating their chosen theme of Community.

The finished piece, which will be displayed in the accommodation project, represents how the young people see themselves within the world around them and will also serve as an interactive feedback board for residents. Materials were kindly provided by Barnsley’s Integrated Youth Support Service.

As well as providing education, employment and advice services for homeless people, Crisis in South Yorkshire delivers creative courses in everything from music and drama, to textiles and urban art. Activities run in accommodation projects, hostels, day centres and other premises across Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Ezra Pearson-Wood, one of six young people who took part in the Urban Art Workshop, said: “We worked brilliantly as a team and I have learnt loads of new skills and techniques that I want to practice. I really enjoyed expressing myself using art and had loads of fun.”

Kieran Williamson, who also took part in the workshop, said: “Graffiti art is something I like doing and I enjoyed getting involved with other customers to create a piece of art we were all really proud of.”

Philip Padfield, the artist, added: “I work with a lot of community groups and I was blown away by the enthusiasm and hard work that these young people displayed and the respect with which they treated the equipment and materials. Now they have the basics I’m looking forward to seeing what they can achieve in the future using spray art.”