36 Pounds and 95 pence exhibition - 30 October

Sample of the work exhibited- Red War by Saed (Afghanistan)
By Yousif Farah

36 Pounds and 95 Pence is the first exhibition of The New Art Studio, which uses art as a vehicle for recovery and integration for victims of human cruelty and abuse. It opens on Friday 30 October at the Islington Arts Factory at 6pm.

The exhibition and a weekend of events will celebrate the opening of the new therapeutic art studio, supported by the The Helen Bamber Foundation, which will provide art therapy for asylum seekers, refugees and trafficked women.

The studio is run by Tania Kaczynski and Jon Martyn, two psychotherapists who are highly experienced at working with trauma. Its aim is to provide creative support and help people conquer their fears, by using art as an aid to psychological recovery.

The name for the exhibition comes from the £36.95 a week vouchers provided by The National Asylum Support Services given to asylum seekers, as they wait on their claim, a process which could take up to ten years.

Speaking about The New Art Studio Tania Kaczynski, said: “The aim of the new art studio is to use art as a vehicle for recovery and integration, both personal and social.”

“It provides a warm, therapeutic art studio for victims of human cruelty and abuse. Most have never made art before, yet they are able to create the most sublime and extraordinary paintings”

The private view will take place on Friday 30 October, at the Islington's Art Factory. All artwork will be for sale and all money will go to help continue this vital support to survivors of human cruelty.

To coincide with the launch of The New Art Studio on Saturday there will be a debate and follow up discussion on asylum and immigration. And on Sunday visitors will also be encouraged to explore the therapeutic benefits of drawing and painting in a group art session.

All work created for the exhibition are by asylum seekers and is comprised of more than 60 paintings, with prices range from £100-£300. Participating artists come from all four corners of the world, including Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Russia and Turkey.

The foundation was founded by Helen Bamber in 2005, in response to the increasing levels of human rights abuses committed around the globe. It provides support to patients who have suffered from prolonged interpersonal violence resulting from human trafficking, war, community- domestic or gender-based violence, also those who were subject to torture, whether physical or psychological.

As it stands 150 countries stand accused of violating the human rights of either their citizen or opponents.

“The crucial lesson to master is how to hold, contain and sustain people who have suffered immense atrocity and loss.” – Helen Bamber

Poached Creative are proud to be supporting the event and will be reporting the weekend's activities, so watch out for our next blog!

If you are interested in attending the exhibition please visit the 36 Pounds and 95 Pence event page


Art therapy in brief:

  • Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication. Is a recognised form of therapy within the NHS.
  • Art as therapy is relatively recent, it first came to light post WW2, when wounded soldiers returning from the battlefield failed to express their distress in words thus they resorted to drawing and painting as a form of relaxation, the exercise had proved effective in reducing the symptoms of Post Traumatic Disorder in intensity and duration. Art therapy may be provided for groups, or for individuals, depending on clients' needs. It is not a recreational activity or an art lesson, although the sessions can be enjoyable. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.

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