Displacement - The Accumulate 2018 Exhibition

The Accumulate Exhibition 2018

The Accumulate 2018 exhibition opens at The Guardian building at 90 York Way, Kings Cross, London in just 5 days time. This year, we have 21 people, from 6 hostels, who completed the 15 week Accumulate photography course, learnt new skills and made new friends. The theme of this year’s exhibition is Displacement, and on the course we visited places and exhibitions around London that related or drew influence from the theme, such as Peckham, Dalston and Shoreditch and the Basquiet exhibition at The Barbican.

Displacement - The Accumulate 2018 Exhibition

Displacement – The Accumulate 2018 Exhibition

As ever, the build up to the exhibition is full of anticipation and expectation. Accumulate participants have recently put themselves through the task of applying for a scholarship to continue their creative education and study on the Access to HE Diploma in Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne. This year, three scholarships are up for grabs and these will be announced and awarded at the Displacement Exhibition Private View on 17th May. It is a life changing opportunity for those that are successful and selected for a scholarship. Our thanks go to Brickworks London, the Ethical Estate Agency, Straight Forward Design Company and Ruth Keetch, a Ravensbourne governor, for supporting and funding these scholarships.

The Accumulate exhibition is not just about displaying the photographs taken by the Accumulate participants. It has a bigger role to play – it showcases the talents of a group of people that may feel marginalised and excluded from the mainstream and it becomes an educational tool of how much talent exists that is under utilised and needs to be nurtured and supported. Most of all, on the exhibition private view evening the Accumulate participants celebrate their achievements, learning and developments and others celebrate with them and admire their work. All of this is part of the positive learning journey that helps people to believe in themselves, their potential and ability to self progress onto a better place in life.

All of the photographs in the Accumulate Displacement exhibition are for sale, with profits split between the participants, so that they can earn money from their creativity, and Accumulate so that it can continue its services and provide more creative workshops to people affected by homelessness. It is possible to purchase the Accumulate exhibition 2018 photographs from our online shop here 

 

The Accumulate group at the ceramics workshop

The Accumulate group tries out yoga and ceramics.

The Accumulate group tried out yoga and ceramics this year. Both of these are new activities for the group, and the participants left these both wanting more – which is always a good sign!

We now have a community of learning and this is something we want to build on as the project continues and grows. The Accumulate participants now greet and high five each other and are linked through their creativity and their talents, they are empowered, positive and are ready to take on new challenges. And that’s what Accumulate is all about, and that is success for us and for the participants.

The Accumulate group at the ceramics workshop

The Accumulate group at the ceramics workshop

Olive, a participant, emailed in after the Accumulate ceramics workshops and said “I felt so confident in myself when you told me I’m doing well and showing me new task and how to make things easier  for me” and here she is, very proud, with the plate and bowl that she made.

Olive with the bowl and plate that she made

Olive with the bowl and plate that she made

Thank you to our new partners for these activities – Level Six Yoga at Peckham Levels and the learning team at The Victoria and Albert Museum.

We are now starting to get ready for the Accumulate photography exhibition. Once again we will be having the exhibition at The Guardian building in Kings Cross. Our thanks are due to them for their continued support. The theme of the exhibition is Displacement and at the private view on May 17th we will also be awarding three scholarships for selected Accumulate participants to be able to study on the Access to HE course in Digital Media and Design at Ravensbourne. Please do email info (at) accumulate.org.uk if you would like to attend the private view and are not already on our mailing list.

The Accumulate group try out yoga at Level Six Yoga Studio, Peckham Levels

The Accumulate Photography Workshops 2018

The Accumulate Photography Workshops 2018 are nearly over for another year. They start in January and end mid May with the exhibition,  and, this year, two things have really stood out, friendship and trust.

Friendship: We have people from different hostel groups, different countries and different age groups this year, more so than previously. We have an ex basket ball player from Kuwait, a retired gardener, a gospel singer, a chef and a cricket fan amongst our group. They come every week, sun, rain or snow, and what has been really apparent is that friendships have been made, people are hanging out with different people, they meet outside of the Accumulate photography workshops and they all “high five” each other when they arrive, and hug at the end.

Friendship is so positive and sometimes we can take it for granted. Friendship  counters loneliness – which can be a trigger for mental health issues and depression, and it means you are connected to other people in a positive way. The Accumulate participants are not connected together because they live in a hostel and have the same life circumstance. They are connected together through their love of doing something creative, they communicate and share themselves through this, and they witness and experience a bond with people who they look forward to seeing each week and spending time with.

Mask making at the Accumulate "Identity" Workshop which took place at The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Mask making at the Accumulate “Identity” Workshop which took place at The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Trust: When we began the Accumulate 2018 photography workshops, there was a wariness, aloofness and inhibition that spread across the group. No one wanted to put their hand up to ask a question, there was a bit of “them and us” going on and there definitely wasn’t a sense of trust or security. Everyone started off a bit unsure of what they had embarked on, a bit unsure of themselves and definitely unsure of the other people in the room. Slowly, trust has built up. Trust between the participants, the participants and the student helpers and between the participants, student helpers and the tutors. Once that trust began to take place we started to introduce other creative activities, beyond photography. The group made visual art in response to the Basquiet exhibition at The Barbican, made their own protest t.shirts for a London Fashion Week activity and made masks for the “Identity and Culture” talk at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

But out of all of this creativity, one activity has stood out above all else and has been the emotional and rewarding highlight of the project so far – Yoga. This past week the Accumulate group had their first yoga lesson. That this actually happened is sign that these 18 people, the Accumulate participants, now all trust each other, feel good about themselves and have found their self confidence to try something new and outside of their comfort zone. This was is the biggest achievement of the project so far. It also symbolises what Accumulate stands for and sets out to do – to build confidence, trust and empowerment through creativity. Seeing the Accumulate group participate in a yoga lesson, love it and want to do more just shows just how far they all have come.

The Accumulate group try out yoga at Level Six Yoga Studio, Peckham Levels

The Accumulate group try out yoga at Level Six Yoga Studio, Peckham Levels

 

Accumulate DECAY at The London Art Fair private view

Accumulate starts 2018 full of creativity!

Creativity is at the core of Accumulate, and the start of 2018 has certainly lived up to this.

We started off with the “DECAY at The London Art Fair” exhibition where we showcased the creativity of the 11 participants from Evolve Housing in Stockwell who participated in the Accumulate magazine project last year.

DECAY at The London Art Fair Invitation

DECAY at The London Art Fair Invitation

To say that the DECAY exhibition private view was busy would be an understatement! Thank you to everyone who came along, bought artwork and were so positive about what Accumulate does and how it helps young people who are homeless through creativity.

Accumulate DECAY at The London Art Fair private view

Accumulate DECAY at The London Art Fair private view

But the best part of all was receiving this feedback from a care leaver who visited the exhibition.

“I had such a great time at this event! The painting were amazing because I could feel what the young people have been through as I am a young person living in a hostel too.
I would be more than happy to volunteer and help as much as I can, because I think that by volunteering it’s the best way to help people.”
We have now started the Accumulate photography project, this year we are working with 7 hostel groups and this year we will collaborate with Somerset House, The Barbican, Tate Modern, Autograph ABP, Victoria and Albert Museum and The Photographers Gallery to deliver our workshops. Every year something wonderful happens on this project and this year, it is wonderful to see last year’s Accumulate graduates and scholarship winners supporting and helping this year’s participants.
Jay, an Accumulate graduate, supports Anushan

Jay, an Accumulate graduate, supports Anushan

Recently we ran a series of zine workshops with The House of St Barnabas (HOSB). HOSB is a private members club in Soho, which is actually also a charity that trains people affected by homelessness with hospitality and catering skills so that they can gain employment and enter the industry. The Accumulate workshops focused on writing, drawing and photography and the content will be used for the next issue of the Accumulate DECAY zine.  This Accumulate project is a real creative collaboration as the workshops were attended by graduates of the HOSB Employment Academy, staff and members, the content will be worked on by 80 students from the graphic design course at Ravensbourne, and the amazing Creative Conscience folk are supporting this project. Everyone is getting involved, getting creative and will be full of fulfilment and creative contentment.

Harvey's hands after the Accumulate workshop at HOSB

Harvey’s hands after the Accumulate workshop at HOSB

 

Accumulate at Youth Club Archive shop

Accumulate Good News Stories

Accumulate has some good news stories to share with you!

So what have we been up to?

Accumulate Good News Story 1.

Accumulate entered a t.shirt collaboration with the wonderful Hopeful Traders. Hopeful Traders are a social enterprise that create and sell t.shirts using designs by homeless people and then they give a share of profits to charities dealing with homelessness. So it seemed a pretty obvious, that Accumulate should team up with Hopeful Traders and produce this beautiful, cool and groovy t.shirt.

Accumulate World Queen T.shirt

Accumulate World Queen T.shirt

 

Accumulate Good News Story 2.

We also have been busy bees producing products for the Accumulate Pop Up Shop within a pop up shop at Youth Club Archive, 3, Carnaby Street, London W1F 9PB.

The Youth Club Archive shop is a celebration of all things connected to Youth Culture, with a huge archive of photographs documenting the different subcultures such as punk, rockabilly, ska, skinheads, grime etc.

We have created a range of Accumulate products for the shop including t.shirts, tote bags, badges, art prints and posters. The Accumulate products use artwork created by residents at the Evolve Hostel in Stockwell when they participated in the Accumulate DECAY zine workshops.

Accumulate at Youth Club Archive shop

Accumulate at Youth Club Archive shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accumulate Good News Story 3.

And then to top it all off we were very lucky, grateful and honoured to receive funding from the RSA Catalyst Fund to support the development and commercialisation of Accumulate products. The fund will enable us to increase the range and sales of Accumulate products designed by young people who are homeless and who attended our workshops. Through this development, we can provide an income to the Accumulate artists, who will get a share of the profits generated, build greater awareness of Accumulate and what it sets out to achieve, and, most importantly, provide an independent source of revenue so that we can increase our services and impacts, and reduce any dependency on grants and donations.

Accumulate gets RSA Funding

Accumulate gets RSA Funding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accumulate Good News Story 4. 

And then finally, we are looking forward to the DECAY at The London Art Fair exhibition. This Accumulate exhibition will showcase all the creativity produced on the DECAY 2 workshops with the Evolve hostel residents. And what’s even more exciting is that the exhibition will be within the prestigious London Art Fair – and that’s a great, big, good news story to end this year on! many thanks to the fantastic Briffa law firm and also the wonderful Ravensbourne for sponsoring the DECAY at The London Art Fair exhibition.

DECAY at The London Art Fair - Accumulate Exhibition

DECAY at The London Art Fair – Accumulate Exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A HAPPY 2018 TO EVERYONE!

Making the Quilt of Homelessness

One Festival of Homeless Arts and The Quilt of Homelessness.

Over the summer, Accumulate met up with David Tovey – an amazing ex-homeless artist who set up the One Festival of Homeless Arts. The One Festival celebrates, raises awareness and educates about the power of art to transform lives and also showcases the incredible art, talents and creativity of the homeless community. So, all in all – it’s a great thing and an event that Accumulate identified with and wanted to be part of.

One Festival of Homeless Arts Exhibition 2017

One Festival of Homeless Arts Exhibition 2017

The idea that we came up with for this year’s festival was to create a Quilt of Homelessness – a live art activity that would happen on the opening night of the festival. The Accumulate photographers would take instant photograph portraits of the festival visitors and then these would be sewn together to become The Quilt of Homelessness.

The Quilt of Homelessness seemed to be a really significant homeless art project to do as there are strong emotional connections with quilts representing a home or comfort as well as having family implications as, very often, quilts are family heirlooms which are passed down through the generations.

Eleven residents from Evolve Housing hostels took part in the Quilt of Homelessness project, chatting with the festival visitors and taking their portraits.

Taking the photographs for the Quilt of Homelessness

Taking the photographs for the Quilt of Homelessness

 

 

 

 

The joy of seeing the instant photographs for the Quilt of Homelessness develop

The joy of seeing the instant photographs for the Quilt of Homelessness develop

The photographing, making and displaying of the quilt was exciting, transformative and had its own energy of being created on the night, before becoming a thing of beauty to look at and admire.

The Quilt of Homelessness at the One Festival of Homeless Arts

The Quilt of Homelessness at the One Festival of Homeless Arts

Many thanks to Fujifilm Instax for sponsoring the film and also all our donors from our Quilt of Homelessness crowdfunding campaign for helping to make it happen.

The Quilt of Homelessness is on display at The Old Diorama Arts Centre, Regents Place, 201 Drummond St, London NW1 3FE until 31.10.17. After then it will be going into a private art collection.

Making the Quilt of Homelessness

Making the Quilt of Homelessness

Tonya's poster at the DECAY zine workshop

The Accumulate DECAY ZINE Issue 2

The past week we have been running a series of ZINE workshops with residents of Evolve Housing‘s Stockwell hostel. It is always a bit of a stress, not knowing if the project is going to appeal or, worse still, whether anyone is going to turn up and actually do anything. Well, the fears didn’t last long, every day people would turn up, sit round a shared table, talk and share insights, stories and their creativity with each other.

Getting creative at the DECAY zine workshop

Getting creative at the DECAY zine workshop

It became a very meaningful activity, trust was developed and creative content was produced for the DECAY zine which was beautiful, emotional, personal and incredible. They produced drawings, illustrations, poems, photographs, stories and collages and it will now be a hard task to edit, select and curate these for Issue 2 of the Accumulate DECAY zine. Tonya came to the DECAY workshop after getting a new job, and she created this lovely poster which just sums up how great she felt!

Tonya's poster at the DECAY zine workshop

Tonya’s poster at the DECAY zine workshop


The start of "reverse sunset" by Tia at the DECAY workshops

The start of “reverse sunset” by Tia at the DECAY workshops

We finished the week of with a portrait and drawing workshop at Youth Subculture. The group created their own backdrops and then had their portraits taken in front of their creative work.

Aaron's backdrop for DECAY zine portrait

Aaron’s backdrop for DECAY zine portrait

It was a very empowering session, in fact the whole project has really encapsulated what Accumulate is all about – using creativity as a tool for empowerment and progressing in life. DECAY will come out in September, so be sure to grab a copy and find out just how much talent there is, that is hidden, and just needs a helping hand to be enjoyed, appreciated and admired. It’s going to be great!

accumulateshow-oliviarosen

The Accumulate video and our Camera Amnesty campaign.

This video shows what Accumulate is all about.

Our latest exhibition, Made By Us,  showcased the photographs of 23  young homeless people and the launch at The Guardian was a huge success. This year, 6 people, who were on the Accumulate programme, will be starting at Ravensbourne college in September. Their lives are now on a new path and their futures look much brighter than they did a year ago. It really is amazing how much everyone has progressed on the project, learning new skills, building their confidence and realising their own potential and ability to progress their lives into a much more positive space.

One thing that the Accumulate participants speak about is how much they would like their own cameras so that they can take photographs in their own time. The lovely folk at Shutterhub heard about this, created the Camera Amnesty campaign and have reached out to the photography community to tell them about the project and ask them to donate their old cameras to Accumulate so that we can distribute them to our participants.

Result! Cameras are coming in and here’s a very happy Eric with his Camera Amnesty camera!

Eric with his Camera Amnesty camera

Eric with his Camera Amnesty camera

 

Made By Us Exhibition Invitation

Tick tock, the Accumulate Made By Us exhibition is nearly here!

This is it, the final countdown to what we have been working towards since January – the Accumulate photography exhibition opens at The Guardian space this Thursday, 11th May,  at 7pm. So that’s 15 photography workshops, 20 student helpers, 9 hostels, 2 tutors, 23 participants and lots of energy, enthusiasm, love and friendship that has gone into the Accumulate Made By Us exhibition.

Made By Us Exhibition Invitation

Made By Us Exhibition Invitation

The day before we open the exhibition we will also be awarding 3 scholarships for 3 lucky, and very talented, Accumulate participants to study, fully funded, on the Access to HE Diploma in Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne. It’s going to be one hell of an exhibition, and here is a sneak preview of some of the work that will be exhibited.

Jay Narayanan Portrait of Eric

Jay Narayanan Portrait of Eric

Kat Jagne: The Red head Scarf

Kat Jagne: The Red head Scarf

Thurshika Parthanan: Rose Tree

Thurshika Parthanan: Rose Tree

Geron at the Creative Writing Session

Creative Writing and the Accumulate Group

For the first time, since Accumulate started in 2013, we ran a creative writing session with the group. Writing itself often presents its own challenges, with negative experiences about school, literacy issues and dyslexia all becoming reasons not to attend the session. But these fears were set aside and 16 people turned up one Wednesday afternoon for a creative writing session at The Africa Centre in Southwark. We focused on two aspects, writing about their experiences on the Accumulate project and then, specifically, about their photographs which will be in the exhibition.

What was so evident was just how much everyone connected and were so eager to describe their experiences, they are so invested in Accumulate and having such a great time that now they can surmount any challenge. It was also the right time in the project to introduce the creative writing session, any earlier and we would not have had their attention or responses.  The brilliant session leader – Joanna Brown, delivered a really evolving workshop session that probed, asked and teased out the information, we had helpers on board to support where needed and then, at the end, we shared a “community” meal, kindly sponsored by local restaurant, Bala Baya. What a great day!

Geron at the Creative Writing Session

Geron at the Creative Writing Session