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Accumulate – The Art School for The Homeless

A new academic year and brings fresh focus for Accumulate

We are Accumulate and we are the first Art School for the Homeless. Based in London, we provide art school level tuition by professional tutors for people who often feel excluded from the regular education system. We work with participants from hostels from all over the capital. We offer each participant the opportunity to find empowerment and the chance to further their education through creativity.

Our course offer is extensive. Joining the Accumulate course means a participant can study a wide range of creative mediums. Our workshops include photography, fashion, visual arts, illustration and film which gives the group room to fully explore their creativity. We work in collaboration with major cultural institutions, universities and industry professionals to support our group’s learning.

This year Accumulate is super ambitious! Our course starts in October running all the way through to June 2020. We offer progression routes via our scholarship scheme onto the Access course at Ravensbourne University London. From there the Accumulate participants go onto the BA course. This is significant as it gives participants the chance to gain a university education which otherwise may not have been possible.

Thank you for following along on our journey. We can’t wait to share with you our new programme of workshops starting this Autumn. Watch this space….there is SO much to come!

Youth Culture – An Accumulate Exhibition

The Accumulate 2019 Exhibition launches April 2019!

On the 9th April, ‘Youth Culture’ the Accumulate exhibition for 2019 launches at Autograph in Shoreditch, East London. We are so looking forward to showcasing the incredible creative achievements of the group of participants who have taken part in the Accumulate programme this year.

Our group have covered a wide range of creative mediums in a really short space of time, given we only started with the group in January! We have introduced new workshops this year including fashion and sculpture which the group have absolutely loved. Collaborating with some big industry names which has been an absolute thrill for all of us involved.

The Road to Youth Culture

The start of the year brought together the group of participants. Each person taking part is affected by homelessness. Participants have come to from 7 hostels across London. For the first of our workshops we worked with our exhibition hosts and long term collaborators Autograph. Participants got to hear about the context and background to their extensive photographic archive as well as learning new skills with the camera before shooting on location around Shoreditch. Getting out of the hostel environment is a very important element to our project. Participants enjoy the experience of visiting and exploring new places as a focus to their workshop, helping them gain confidence away from the hostel.

On location in Shoreditch (Photo credit Sabela Peinado)

Fashion Workshop

2019 was the first time we have worked with a fashion theme in the Accumulate programme. We collaborated with international fashion brand Levis, London cultural space Somerset House and the photography archive, Youth Club Archive on this workshop. Participants got inspired, working with the theme of Youth Culture, reviewing Youth Club’s amazing social history archive of images. They then went on, using these influences to customise the iconic Levis Trucker Jacket to give it their own unique and personal look. An amazing outlet for self expression, learning new skills and finding inspiration working together as a group. The levels of creativity and imagination was just outstanding!

Customised denim jackets (Photo credit sabelapeinado.com)

With the jackets complete, the group took part in photoshoots outside Somerset House and on location at the Printworks venue in East London. The group were fashion models and photographers for the day! The took  it in turn to photograph each other, perfecting their newly learned camera skills!

Shannon Stevenson Glowing Out Of Turn

Photo Credit Shannon Stevenson, Accumulate Participant

Sculpture Workshop

Along with a fashion workshop, we were so excited to introduce Sculpture to the programme this year. This workshop was kindly funded by Art UK as part of their ‘Art is all around you’ UK wide sculpture project. We also partnered again with our friends at Autograph. We were very excited to hold part of the workshop at the BBC Broadcasting House! Inspired by the sculptures and history surrounding this iconic building, our participants worked on themes that influenced their identity and own ideas of youth culture. They began modelling their sculptures first from cardboard then covering them in plaster before finally painting them with breathtaking results!

Adding plaster to a sculpture (Photo credit sabelapeinado.com)

Zine Making

Amongst all this we also found time to create Issue 4 of the Accumulate zine Decay!! The creative ideas were first produced by our group, putting their own thoughts and feelings down on paper. This work was then passed on the 60 graphic design students at Ravensbourne University who worked to create the final spreads seen in the zine.

Creating at the zine workshop

 

The Youth Culture pop up exhibition will feature all the work our participants have produced during these workshops, including a show of the stunning customised Levis jackets and the official launch of Decay 4. As part of this event we will also be awarding scholarships to selected Accumulate participants, giving them the opportunity to further their creative studies on the Access HE course in Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne University London. A life changing opportunity.

There is still time to register for this free event – click here.  Please show you support for our participants and come along. We would all love to see you there!

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 and funded by Art UK as part of their countrywide ‘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 participant worked consistently over the whole four 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 Fashion Workshops – February 2019

This February we have been so proud to partner with some amazing organisations, Levis, Youth Club Archive, Ravensbourne University London and Somerset House on our series of fashion workshops to coincide with London Fashion Week.

Accumulate participants wearing their Levi’s Jackets before the workshop

CREATIVE WORKSHOPS

All of the participants are young people living in hostels or temporary accommodation across London. Youth Culture was the theme of this project, with expression through fashion being the aim. Our participants worked throughout the week on their creative skills. They customised the classic Levi’s denim Trucker jackets (the fashion icon of youth culture). The jackets were so kindly donated to the project by Levis UK – thank you! Customising, adorning and decorating the jackets created an extremely individual, unique and personal look and the results were phenomenal! It allowed the group to express their thoughts, feelings and experiences in a creative and visual way. At the end of each day of creativity we photographed the group outside the iconic buildings of Somerset House in Central London. We were so lucky to have renowned photographer Duncan Raban work with group, encouraging them to model their creations with confidence.

Former homeless artist David Tovey, helps Crystal on the Accumulate Levi’s workshop

Imania uses graffiti and personal statements to decorate her jacket

The Accumulate participants worked consistently over 5 days. They came to every workshop at 10am and finishing at 5pm, travelling across London to attend. This is a major indication of their sense of achievement, drive and ambition and really shows how much this project meant to them.

FASHION SHOOT

The finale to our week was a fashion shoot with Youth Club Archive at Printworks London in Surrey Quays. This amazing location has a real industrial edge, such a great backdrop to our shoot. Here our participants had the chance to be models and fashion photographers for the day! We we thrilled to welcome some amazing make artists from the London School of Media Makeup and the London School of Make Up to make the group feel glamorous for the shoot! Participants took turns modelling their customised jackets and photographing each other, practising their camera skills on set.

The group were really overwhelmed with what they had produced and achieved within such a short period of time. They were so proud of themselves, something that can often be denied to them because of their circumstances.

We could not have achieved this ambitious and successful project without the support and involvement of our partners and of course the amazing Accumulate participants.

Photo credit – Sabela Peinado – sabelapeinado.com

 

Accumulate Autumn 2018

We thought we had a busy Summer….well Autumn and up to end of 2018 has been jam packed!

V&A Photography Workshop and Exhibit

September saw a photography workshop collaboration with participants from Freedom from Torture. This charity supports people who have been through immeasurable suffering as victims of torture. It was amazing to see this group of people come together and support each other, learning new skills. A couple of weeks later the images these individuals had produced were proudly exhibited at the V & A museum. Was wonderful to see these smiling faces launching their own exhibit!

 

 

 

Edible Utopia

We took part in an absolutely fascinating workshop at Somerset House. So weird and wonderful and something completely different for our participants. Experimenting with different effects, they produced some stunning images of fungus. They just loved working on these technical aspects, capturing the astonishing forms of the mushrooms! We were thrilled that the images were used by Somerset House projected onto the wall of ‘The Deadhouse’ as part of World Fungus Day!

Jump Up!

We got together again with our friends at Youth Club Social, checking out their latest exhibition ‘Jump Up’ celebrating 50 years of Notting Hill Carnival. After being inspired by the amazing photography on display, our participants got creative designing their own Carnival backdrops!

 

 

 

 

One Festival of Homelessness Arts

This was our second year being involved in this incredible event founded and directed by our great friend the Artist David Tovey. A celebration of the works of art, in so many forms, created by artists who have or are experiencing homelessness. We had the privilege of exhibiting images from our photography workshops ‘Portraits and Potential’. This workshops involved participants from YMCA Walthamstow who had their images captured by Accumulate Tutor and visual artist Othello De Souza Hartley. Afterwards we gathered together to discuss what each person saw in their own portrait and then reflect & share their hopes for the future. Inspiring.

 

 

House of St Barnabas Art Hang

We were beyond delighted to see the work of the Accumulate Zine DECAY 3, produced back in the summer, exhibited on a large scale at the House of St Baranabas in Soho. Such a proud moment so see our stunning pieces exhibited in this incredible setting.

 

 

 

Latest Workshops

As the dark nights drew in, we worked with a new group from Broadwater Lodge. A hostel for families in North London. It was just wonderful to see this group have fun with creativity and learn new skills. We also rounded off the year with workshops with participants from YMCA North London and Evolve in Stockwell who were perfecting their technical skills.

 

 

Alexandra Palace

As a final creative project of 2018 we worked together with artist Cristina Otto on the incredible project at Alexandra Palace. This installation is on display in the new East Wing at the palace and it really is quite a sight!

 

 

 

Student Successes

We are beyond proud to see 2017 Scholarship winner continue his creative education, enrolling on the BA Advertising and Brand Design course at Ravensbourne University! Luke said “Thank you for all this and the opportunity. I am nervous as hell but very excited to start a new life.”

2018 student Nisha Zala was also accepted in the Access to Fashion course at Morley College. We are so excited for you Nisha!

 

 

 

 

 

Hello 2019!

2019 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for Accumulate…….thank you so much for following along, your support means the world to us.

 

 

 

 

House of St Barnabas Art Hang 2019

We are delighted to include the creative work of the Accumulate zine, Decay 3, in the bi annual Art Hang 2019 exhibit at House of St Barnabas. This exhibition launched in London’s Soho last week. We are so proud to exhibit next to so many other incredible not for profit artists and in such a stunning setting.

Photo Credit Nic Serpell-Rand

The artwork on display came from Decay Issue 3. This is the Accumulate zine that showcases the words, images and random thoughts of people affected by homelessness. We collaborated with House of St Barnabas and their Employment Academy team back in the Summer.  The Employment Academy graduates, employees and members all sat round a large table to produce creative content together. By doing so formed their own creative community, whilst producing inspiring creative pieces. As part of this collaboration, students from Ravensbourne University’s Graphic Design course developed the ideas from the workshop into the final visuals you see on display.

Photo Credit Nic Serpell-Rand

It is just incredible to see the artwork displayed on such a large scale. It looked stunning! On the night,  we also sold copies of Decay 3 along with prints of individual artworks. All profits from sales are split with the artist so they can earn from their creativity and with Accumulate so we can continue to support more people affected by homelessness find empowerment through creativity.

Photo Credit Nic Serpell-Rand

It has been a privilege to work with this inspiring organisation and support their vital work with people affected by homelessness and we hope we can work together in the future on more creative workshops.

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 in 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 alongside 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

 

 

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 Basquiat 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 a 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