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Homeless given arts market for World Homeless Day

Press Release   •   Oct 06, 2017 09:57 BST

Home on his back. 2018 MyLondon calendar photographer David Fussell (right) speaks to another project participant Christopher McTavish. The exhibition of more than 400 photos is up for seven days from Monday.

Spitalfields Arts Market will be run by Londoners affected by homelessness for seven days from next Monday.

The market will be filled with paintings and photographs from dozens of artists who are homeless or have recently been homeless. The project is run by homeless enterprise Café Art who will also be launching the 2018 MyLondon calendar in the market at lunchtime on Tuesday, World Homeless Day.

“We are trying to empower people who are in a tough situation – either sleeping rough, sofa surfing or recently rehoused,” says Paul Ryan from Café Art. “With the number of people who are homeless rising, we have seen positive changes in the individuals participating in the project. It helps them gain confidence and cope with their situations.”

The project, now in its fifth year, the project is funded almost entirely from the sale of the MyLondon calendar, which sells for £9.99. It will also be sold in Spitalfields Market from Tuesday 10 October where the participants earn an income from selling it. The printing of the 2018 calendar was part funded by hundreds of members of the public on crowdfunding website Kickstarter in August and September. See the campaign video here.

However recently Cafe Art was awarded a Discovery grant from Santander Foundation to help further improve the skills of the participants. Paul Ryan says: “The grant will let participants gain essential photography skills which will let them create more professional photographs, hopefully leading to employment in the field, or at least giving them confidence to apply for other work. One of the main issues people who are homeless have found is that they quickly lose confidence and this affects everything. By giving them these skills we can help them move on in their lives.”

The Café Art Market in Spitalfields runs from Monday 9 October to Sunday 15 October from 10am to 5pm daily. The 2018 MyLondon calendar will be launched at an Award Ceremony in the market at 1pm on Tuesday 10 October (World Homeless Day).

CAFÉ ART connects people affected by homelessness with the wider community through art. We hang artwork created in art groups run by homelessness sector organisations and hang it in independent cafes in London. We also run photography contests with disposable Fujifilm cameras. 

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