Independent Living (2016)
Photographic prints and quotes.
This work developed as the result of a short residency as part of a larger project People, Pavements and Property which was run by academics at the University of Northumbria in partnership with Home Group and Shelter to explore homelessness in Newcastle upon Tyne. In some ways this is work towards something rather than a fully resolved piece of work. However, I wanted to share some of it here out of respect for the young people who shared their experiences of homelessness with me, which was at times a humbling experience. The text below is from the exhibition which was held as part of an event at Newcastle Civic Centre in December 2016.
"For this project I have been working with young people connected to Tyneside Foyer to explore some of the issues they have experienced connected to housing and homelessness in Newcastle, which is a new subject for my work. I had initially imagined producing a project focused around rough sleeping, however I quickly realised that this is quite a small part of the story when thinking about homelessness in the city. When talking to young people from the Foyer I was struck by the amount of support they received, which includes training for work life skills such as cookery and budgeting alongside counselling and emotional support all with the aim of supporting them to move on from supported accommodation into their own homes. I lived in the West of the city for many years and must have walked past the foyer hundreds of times without knowing anything about all the work which goes on in there. It seemed to me that this would be an interesting story to tell about homelessness, and with this in mind I have been interviewing people living at the foyer about their experiences and taking photographs in the building. I hope the project will reveal something of the obstacles issues and structures people have to navigate when they find themselves without a home and the experiences and processes people go through in order to achieve that which so many of us take for granted the ability to live independently without institutional support."
For more information on the wider project please follow this link