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Sculpture Collaboration

We have been delighted to introduce sculpture as a new medium to the Accumulate programme for 2019. Four days of workshops hosted by the BBC at Broadcasting House, as well as Autograph in Shoreditch. Funded by Art UK as part of their country wide ‘Sculpture Around You’ project.

Exploring themes & ideas

Day One began with discovering the history and themes behind the sculptures on display at BBC Broadcasting House. We were so lucky to have all these public sculptures brought to life during this tour by Head of History at the BBC, Robert Seatter. Following this the group expanded and explored the themes they had been discussing , committing their ideas and thoughts to paper.

Accumulate at Broadcasting House!

Exploring themes & ideas

Bringing each design to life

Armed with their designs, participants began working with cardboard for the basis of their models.  They then added plaster to their designs. They looked just stunning! Paint was then added to completely bring the sculptures to life. Each participants worked consistently over the whole 4 days, totally committed to their project, ensuring it communicated their ideas to the viewer.

Modelling from cardboard

Adding plaster

Finished Sculptures

Sculpture is not easy, and to take an idea from concept into 3D is a great challenge, especially with unfamiliar materials. Our group absolutely loved it. Frank, one of our participants commented “Out of all the Accumulate workshops so far, hands down I’ve liked sculpture the most.’ It’s so great to hear feedback like this. Even more evidence of how far it is possible to go with a group of dedicated and fully engaged participants.

Photo credits: Sabela Peinado

 

 

Accumulate x House of St Barnabas

The Accumulate Zine

This October will see the creative work of Accumulate participants included in an exhibition!

We are thrilled to be included in the AW18 Art Hang event at Soho private members club, House of St Barnabas.  We worked together with the students of their Employment Academy programme. This programme aims to support people affected by homelessness get the skills & training they need to get back into sustainable employment. The participants came together on a series of zine workshops led by designer Patrick Fry. They produced creative content influenced by their own experiences. This creative work was then passed onto over 80 2nd year graphic design students from Ravensbourne University. The students were set a brief by their tutor to produce a series of magazine spreads for Accumulate. Three students were then selected to develop their ideas further and create the final visuals for Decay 3, the Accumulate zine.

This collaboration of organisations and people who gave their time and expertise to create this zine has been immeasurable.

We will be immensely proud to see this work displayed within the stunning environs of House of St Barnabas in its Bazelgette Room as part of their 2018 not for profit art programme along side other incredible artists.

If you think you could support Accumulate in our continuing creative programme supporting people affected by homelessness by working with us or volunteering your time please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Page from the Accumulate DECAY 3 zine

 

Page from the Accumulate DECAY3 zine

 

 

East End Prints

We are so delighted to be collaborating with East End Prints. The Hackney based art print studio are now stocking a selected range of Accumulate art work available via their website.

Each piece has been created by an Accumulate participant during our Decay zine creative workshops. A collaboration between ourselves, House of St Barnabas and Ravensbourne University. These workshops start with a table full of art equipment and inspirational materials. Participants then sit together and create. We find that this way participants can create with purpose, collaborate and share their vision incorporating their experiences and aspirations for the future into their artwork. The creative content is then handed over and developed by 2nd year Graphic Design degree students from Ravensbourne who produce the final visuals.

Individual and thought provoking pieces that update your walls and support people affected by homelessness find a creative outlet.


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The Accumul8 Magazine Project – DECAY

Accumul8 has started a new project with the young people living at the North London YMCA Hostel – creating stories, images and content that will be collated together, edited and produced into a magazine. The magazine is going to be called DECAY and it will be representative of all the creativity, ideas and imaginations of the hostel residents. DECAY is a collaboration between the young hostel residents and also the students at Ravensbourne and shows what can be produced in a collaborative, supportive environment where inner voices are encouraged and people feel safe to explore their ideas and imagination.

Abdul writing a poem for the Decay. Abdul has arrived from Syria, speaks no English, and this was his first day in the hostel.

Abdul writing a poem for the Decay. Abdul has arrived from Syria, speaks no English, and this was his first day in the hostel.

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Brian is leading the workshop, he is also the “scribe” for people’s stories

Nadia, from Ravensbourne College, and Kenny, from the NLYMCA hostel, collaborate on a drawing for the DECAY magazine

Nadia, from Ravensbourne College, and Kenny, from the NLYMCA hostel, collaborate on a drawing for the DECAY magazine

Accumul8 gets featured in The Guardian!

Sometimes really good things happen with Accumul8, and getting featured in The Guardian is a fantastic achievement. The Guardian focused on the story of Accumul8 and how the students at Ravensbourne are learning and developing skills from teaching the YMCA residents about photography skills as well as developing an understanding of the project.

One of the goals when I set up Accumul8 was about creating multiple benefits and beneficiaries through collaboration, this feature by Natalie Gil of The Guardian really sums this up. Thank you Natalie, for a great article!

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Teaching homeless people gives photography students a new perspective
When university students take on the task of teaching hostel residents to take pictures, both groups are stretched to their limits
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Sam Adesanyan, a resident at the north London YMCA, takes part in a photography workshop. Photograph: Stuart Moore

“I live with my parents in a three-bedroom house in a nice area, so compared to what these guys have been through, I’m a freakin’ princess,” says Robyn Slator, 21, a digital photography student who spent much of last year teaching homeless people to take pictures.

For fellow student Sam Goodridge, 20, one of the current teachers, it’s been eye-opening. “I come from Surrey where it’s mainly middle class white people, so it’s nice to see what the other half get up to, and make friends.”

They’re part of a project where university students have been sharing their creative skills with homeless men living in a YMCA hostel in north London. The hostel residents, who are also benefitting from the involvement of a professional photographer, say they are discovering their own creativity and developing job skills.

“Initially, I liked that it got me involved in something outside the YMCA,” says Stuart Moore (not his real name), 31, a hostel resident and workshop participant.

“But having taken part for a number for weeks now, I’ve enjoyed learning more about photography and the technical aspects of the camera itself. And it’s been good to get to know my fellow residents a little better.”

Liam Gayle, 29, another resident, says it’s encouraged him to socialise with people he otherwise might not have spoken to. “That’s not against their personalities, who they are or where they’re from… but by throwing you out of your comfort zone this helps you make new friends.”

And a third participant, Taurean Jordan, 29, adds: “I’ve learned that anyone can do anything – photography is something I never thought I’d take up.”

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The residents on a visit to Ravensbourne

Their “teachers” are students from Ravensbourne, an arts university in south-east London. For them, the project has been a huge boost to their communication, leadership and management skills.

Sanchez Palmer, 23, had never taught before, but this experience has persuaded him to go into education. Since graduating from Ravensbourne with a digital photography degree, he has got a job as a teaching assistant at a secondary school.

“I learned that it’s not always going to be as perfect as you want it to be,” says Palmer. “One week there’d be 10 people and another week there’d be two, but as long as I put all of me into it, it was fine.”

Palmer learned a lot from the residents: “Their stories affected the pictures they took. It’s weird, but you’d see pain in a picture and when you’d ask them to explain it, your eyes opened to new perspectives.” Sometimes, they’d ask to change photos into black and white to highlight emotion.

Slator, who also wants to become a teacher, says her only previous experience was with her local Brownie group. She says it was daunting at first having authority over an older, mostly male group from vastly different backgrounds.

“But once you get to know everyone, you become more comfortable. I came here on the first week with my posh voice, but that changed over the time.”

The project was organised by a social enterprise called Accumul8, founded by Marice Cumber, subject leader for enterprise and entrepreneurship at Ravensbourne, which specialises in digital media and design.

“This isn’t the easiest group of people to deal with,” says Cumber, “and education isn’t an easy ride, so it teaches you about passing on knowledge at a level that’s appropriate to your audience.”

The project’s goal was to showcase residents’ photographs at the Crouch End Festival. But to do that, they needed money. So they raised it by making and selling jams and chutneys – “preserves with a purpose” – from windfall fruit donated by the community.

The exhibition was a success, with prints selling for £45 – some multiple times – which worked wonders for the residents’ self-esteem.

“People wanted to talk to the photographers – so a group of people who’d previously been at the bottom of the pile in the community became celebrities for an evening,” says Cumber. “There was a positive vibe and more optimistic language being used.”

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North London YMCA residents at their photography exhibition in June 2014
The link with Ravensbourne is crucial in raising residents’ aspirations, says Cumber, and the hostel-dwellers who complete this year’s workshops will get a level two award in photography.

“It’s a big step up from where they are now – and visiting the college shows them that education is a possible goal to work towards,” she says.

Ravensbourne pays the student teachers and lends the necessary equipment. James Ward, subject leader for further education, says: “Ravensbourne has a broad outreach department where we look to work with hard-to-reach communities to get them to consider higher education.

“I’d hope that, in the long term, a couple of the homeless students will make it on to one of our access to HE diplomas, which act as a bridge into higher education.”

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The group sold jams and chutneys to make the money needed to exhibit residents’ photographs at the Crouch End Festival

Sean Ashley, 35, a support housing officer at the YMCA and former resident, took part in last year’s workshops, and says they set him up well for future employment. He found the jam business particularly interesting.

“It’s shown me how businesses and organisations are structured, the ins and outs of blogging, setting up businesses, licensing, which we had to deal with when selling the chutneys, and marketing. I’d never done these things before,” says Ashley.

More students should get involved with projects like this, says Slator: “At uni you gain knowledge to prepare you for the future, but it’s good to share it. And from a selfish point of view, it looks amazing on my CV that I taught people photography skills at a YMCA.”

The high point for everyone was the show they put on. “The residents had only been doing it a few months and had a whole exhibition to themselves, whereas I’ve been doing it for four years now and I’ve still had nothing,” she laughs. “They’ve overtaken me now, but I’m proud of them.”