"Creating art that evokes emotion, debate, and raises questions"

Homelessness

'Think Twice: Breaking Down the Stigma of Homelessness'

Selected as part of the 'Stigma' exhibition at Pop Brixton, 15th September 2019

(organised by 'The Perspective Project' charity)

  • a collage made entirely from previous copies of the Big Issue Magazine

 

She calls out to the man on the street

"Sir, can you help me?

It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep 

Is there somewhere you can tell me?"

He walks on, doesn't look back

He pretends he can't hear her

Starts to whistle as he crosses the street

Seems embarrassed to be there.

Oh, think twice, 

'cause it's another day for you and me in paradise.

Oh, think twice, 

'cause it's another day for you,

you and me in paradise.

"Another Day in Paradise," Phil Collins

The growing number of rough sleepers in the UK has been widely publicised. Data from the Combined Homeless and Information Network estimated that 8855 people slept rough in London last year, an increase of nearly one fifth in just 12 months. Homeless people are also significantly more likely to experience mental health problems and substance misuse compared to the general population. The reasons why someone finds themselves homeless are diverse and complex, and every person's story is unique. The homeless are particularly vulnerable to being stigmatised in our society; there is a tendency to create an “us” and “them” divide, sometimes attributing their circumstances to their own life choices, and in effect distancing ourselves from our own vulnerabilities. Because the truth is that none of us are immune to becoming homeless. From my years in clinical practice as a psychologist, I worked with many people who had a history of homelessness. I have also spent the past few years volunteering at my local shelter which offers refuge to the homeless over the winter months. Spending time with people experiencing homelessness, and listening to their stories is a privilege and an eye opener. Fundamentally we have more in common than the differences we might first perceive.

Motherhood 

'The Art of Modern Motherhood'

Selected as part of 'The Gender Agenda' exhibition, 8th March- 9th April 2019, W3 Gallery

  • Acrylic on Canvas

 

There is often a great divide between what’s seen above and unseen below the surface of a Mother today. The perception of ‘holding it all together,’ managing multiple roles and demands that ‘should’ get done, that ‘must’ get done, and the euphoric expression that can create the illusion of coping, of contentment, of ease.

 

But mothers can hide so well the underlying struggle this can take. So many are furiously paddling below the surface just to keep themselves afloat. What seems like never ending waves of work, responsibility, of care towards others.

 

I dedicate this painting to all the mothers who have ever felt like they are only just managing to keep their head above water. Never underestimate all the incredible work you do every single day, take time for each other to ask how you really are, and most importantly take time for yourselves.

© Alice Brooks Art 2019