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Creativity in the time of Coronavirus

In these critical times, lockdown continues across most of the world. Life as we all know it has paused and the majority of us are confined to our homes. We are a small charity and we support people affected by homelessness. A safe place to call home is out of reach for our participants. Living in hostels or temporary accommodation, the negative effects of isolation and loneliness on mental wellbeing can only increase the anxiety and extreme vunerability felt in what is an already incredibly stressful and uncertain situation.

A Creative Community

We have worked so hard to create a supportive community amongst our group since our course started. We don’t want to lose this because of this ever changing situation. So, we have taken our creative workshops online, continuing connect our group virtually!

Accumulate 100 Challenge

Accumulate tutor Soofiya Chaudry developed a challenge for our group to complete but anyone can take part! Why not give it a go?  A list of 100 prompts from which to complete 100 drawings. There are no rules, draw in colour or black & white, sketches can be as weird & wonderful as you like! Why not share them with us? Click here to get involved.

Amazing artwork from our 100 Challenge!

Art Challenges

Every week we gather together our group via Whats app and Zoom and set a variety of creative challenges from photography to illustration. Sharing the results with the group and chatting together gives a great sense of togetherness and support. Huge thanks to Accumulate tutor Tori Taiwo and Ravensbourne University for your time and support to this workshop.

An image shared by our group as part of the Accumulate photo challenge

 

It was amazing to have this feedback during one of our online challenges……one participant said ‘‘Creating takes my mind to a goooood place…!”

Podcast Training

After the success of our podcast series Sound Judgement, we are so keen to keep this training running. The visible joy of learning can be seen on our participants faces here, continuing our podcast training via Skype. The group are currently working on a news podcast by and for people affected by homelessness providing much need support at this critical time. With big thanks to Williamz Omope, Greenwich Digital Skills and Ravensbourne University.

Podcast Training via Skype!

Art kits by post

Receiving a parcel in the post has been a great way to stay connected with our group. We send a creative activity along with some snacks to keep energised. Something for each person to look forward to and activity to keep busy and pass the time.

This venture has been so kindly funded by Crisis UK’s Emergency Fund. Enabling us to buy more kits and in turn support more people affected by homelessness find some positivity through creativity. With this funding it has meant that we have been able to support Jolt, an art studio based in Shropshire who support adults with mental health challenges through art and design projects. We have included one of Jolt’s beautiful felting kits in this week’s parcel. We are so happy we have been able to do good twice, supporting Jolt through purchasing their kit and providing an activity to those who are homeless, isolated and extra vulnerable at this time.

Art activity parcel including felt set by Jolt. Funded by Crisis UK

 

We have had requests now for over 200 of the Accumulate art kits from hostels. We will have an online exhibition space for everyone to connect into and enjoy what the group has achieved.

Zine of Love

A new project in the pipeline, working with our group creatively online, is a new Accumulate zine. ‘Zine of Love’ will be run by the Accumulate tutor ,visual artist & illustrator Soofiya Chaudry. Using illustrations and creative writing produced by group, recording their experiences in this difficult time.

 

We will continue to share and celebrate all our groups creativity over the weeks to come on social media. Please do follow along. Hoping to bring strength and support to our own creative community.

Stay safe

Accumulate x

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO JUDGEMENT

A Fashion Collection created by young homeless people

Last week we gathered to celebrate the creative achievements of a group of people, all of whom are living in hostels and temporary accommodation. This event was so overwhelming for all involved! The energy and support in the room was unbelievable and it was wonderful to see just how far these participants have come.

 

A series of workshops

Over a week in November 2019, our participants participated in a series of fashion workshops. They reworked, redesigned and repurposed surplus stock and fabric that had been so kindly donated by the fashion retailer Ted Baker. Each participant designed and made a totally unique outfit for a specific member of the team of the law firm Briffa. The challenge? To redefine what a lawyer should look like for the 21st century. To reverse hierarchies and overturn stereotypes and enable and often ignored group of people to be in charge and in control. We were assisted on this project by fashion students from Ravensbourne University.

 

Empowerment through creativity

Through being involved in this project, the Accumulate participants gained self confidence, wellbeing and their personal value increased. They learnt new skills and became much more positive about themselves, their potential and their future. New friendships were made that didn’t exist before and boundaries and misconceptions were broken down. This ultimately reinforces an objective of Accumulate, to empower people affected by homelessness through their engagement and participation in creative projects.

Collaboration

The NO JUDGEMENT project, creative workshops, fashion show and party have all been achieved through the collaboration and generous sponsorship of the Briffa law firm, Ted Baker, Greenwich Digital Skills and Ravensbourne University London. We can’t thank you all enough!

Daniel Kelly and Nathan Singh from Ted Baker with Accumulate founder Marice Cumber.

The Catwalk!

 

Photo credit – www.benpetersphoto.com

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!

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

 

 

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.


Accumulate Scholarship Winner LisaLouise Machregor shares her joy with her mother

Accumulate Exhibition 2018

The Accumulate Exhibition 2018 took place at The Guardian building in Kings Cross. 20 people, who are affected by homelessness, who took part in the 15 week Accumulate photography course showed their work at the exhibition and what makes the private view special is not just that they can see their creative work displayed so expertly in a curated exhibition, but that the people that attend are interested in them, in their stories and in their creativity. It really is a very special night and has a feeling of a celebration about it, a celebration of talent, achievement, determination and collaboration.

More people than ever turned up to this year’s Accumulate exhibition private view, which made it into even more of a party atmosphere.

The Accumulate Exhibition 2018

The Accumulate Exhibition 2018

We also did audio recordings of each of the participants talking about their photographs and their experiences of coming on the Accumulate project and what it meant to them. One of the participants, Olive Douglas, spoke about how good the project made her feel, she even spoke to her doctor about it – who, as a result, reduced her medication.

Olive Douglas, an Accumulate participant, shares her story with an Accumulate exhibition visitor

Olive Douglas, an Accumulate participant, shares her story with an Accumulate exhibition visitor

Scholarships were awarded to three Accumulate participants so that they can continue their creative education and study on the Access to HE Diploma in Design and Digital Media at Ravensbourne University London. This is life changing. The recipients of the scholarships are Max Sita-Mbele, Lisalouise Macgregor and Jahmel Anderson Hendricks. Many many thanks to the sponsors of the scholarships – Brickworks London, Straight Forward Design and Ruth Keetch – they have all changed someone’s life forever.

 Max Sita-Mbele with Professor Linda Drew, Marice Cumber and Ruth Keetch


Max Sita-Mbele with Professor Linda Drew, Marice Cumber and Ruth Keetch

Accumulate Scholarship Winner LisaLouise Machregor shares her joy with her mother

Accumulate Scholarship Winner LisaLouise Macgregor shares her joy with her mother

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.

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!

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