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Living Here: A Creative Exploration of London Life

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

AN EXHIBITION created by a group of talented young people aged between 15-18 years and entitled Living Here: A Creative Exploration of London Life, will be on display in the Oval House Café Gallery from April 23 to May 19, 2007.

Following a programme of workshops led by professional artists, 40 young people will transform their perceptions of London life into fascinating and eclectic pieces of visual art.

The youngsters, all recently arrived in the UK from destinations such as Afghanistan, Iran, Ghana, Congo, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Cote D’lvoire and China will be offering the public an insightful and poignant expression of their experiences in the city.

Using the mediums of photography and painting, the exhibition will be rooted in the young people’s experiences of beginning a new life in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.

The exhibition is the culmination of a series of creative workshops undertaken by the young people as part of the Living Here project at Oval House Theatre – a three year participatory project that aims to offer opportunities to some of the most marginalised young people in society using the creative and expressive arts.

The Living Here Project, developed by Oval House Theatre in conjunction with the London Borough of Lambeth Ethnic Minority Achievement Department, is committed to offering artistic approaches that do not rely on a common language to help build confidence and develop skills in creative expression.

Stressing the importance of this project, in particular the value of exhibiting this kind of work, Head of Arts Education Stella Barnes said:

“The project has provided an enjoyable and uplifting experience for young people whose lives are complicated by challenges such as language, legal status and poverty. We believe that exhibiting the work will give young people the acknowledgement they deserve and help build their confidence and self esteem.”

Admission to the exhibition is free.