Reflections of care
1 – 30 September 2021
Free & open to all
SPACE Ilford

Gallery open on Wednesdays 11am – 5pm & Saturdays 11am – 3pm
Also by appointment. Email lanya@spacestudios.org.uk

An exhibition that reflects on our lives during these unexpected times experienced during lockdown. Bringing together artworks created over the last year which cast back on the individual experiences of identity, culture, mental well-being and homelessness. Together we appreciate the stories and journeys from within our community by considering how we care for ourselves and each other, whilst exploring and sharing the experiences which bring us together.

On display in the gallery:

Yasmin Falahat, SPACE commissioned artist 2021, ceramics

Weave hangings created by participants from Empowering the Deaf Society

Sharing food in most cultures and households represents a way of caring for one another. Cooking for loved ones, helping prepare food with friends or family, helping to carry food from the local fruit and veg market, are all small examples of how we show care towards one another. Yasmin’s fruit and vegetable ceramic pieces tell the stories of local people, their journey and memories of their shared love of food and experiences. Each ceramic fruit/vegetable was chosen by a local resident. 

Yasmin worked with Empowering the Deaf Society on a weaving project, to create a narrative with textile and colours about what care means to them.  

Mareike Günsche, Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U)
Photographic portraits and quotes by Positive East participants and community residents.

A collaborative and participatory project organised by Positive East and SPACE. The workshop focused on ‘HIV Treatment as Prevention’, which has significantly changed how we talk about HIV. People living with HIV and on effective treatment cannot pass on HIV. This is sometimes known as Undetectable equals Untransmittable (U=U). People who are HIV negative can also take HIV treatment before and after sex to prevent HIV transmission.

Many people continue to be affected by HIV, whether they are living with HIV, or know someone who is living with HIV. HIV is now a manageable long-term health condition but many people aren’t aware of this and the developments that have been made. By highlighting HIV affects us all, the workshops looked at our identities, experiences and the role we play in ending new cases of HIV.

Through discussions, group work and playful artistic visualisation we exchanged knowledge and narratives about HIV. The outcome of this project created the photographic portraits, artwork and quotes which will serve as a visual quotation of the HIV memorial quilt.

Tamu Nkiwane, MyZine

Commissioned by SPACE, MyZine is the result of a lockdown project led by Tamu and a group of young people in Redbridge during the Covid-19 pandemic. At a time when many felt isolated, and were sharing a sense of anxiety and unease about the future, the project provided opportunities for fun and self-expression, connecting young people with creative possibilities. 

In the early days of lockdown, no one was able to travel or leave their house. SPACE organised art materials to be delivered directly to each participant’s home. The result is a glorious 180 page publication containing drawings, paintings, poems and stories from 11 – 18 year olds residents of Redbridge. 

Alaa Alsaraji, Redbridge Nature Guide

A collaboration between SPACE’s programme associate Alaa Alsaraji and Redbridge Youth Councils ‘Keeping Redbridge Wild’ project, the guide explores the themes of nature and wellbeing.

After a series of photography workshops with the artist, each young person selected the green spaces they valued the most. In the accompanying text, you can read what these spaces mean to them and about their creative process capturing these often overlooked areas of their communities.

The guide acts as a collective documentation, celebrating these invaluable local spaces which have provided a respite and connection with nature for the young people throughout the pandemic.  

Donna Riddington, Grow Zone logo 

Donna worked with Redbridge Youth Council to imagine symbols and signs that capture ideas about nature protection and how we each enjoy connecting with wildlife areas. We care enough to identify wild spaces to others by leaving a sign or marker. The new Grow Zone logo will let people know that these places of wild beauty are home to all kinds of wildlife and growth, which is important for all of us. 

Projects from The Creative Space, Arlington

Isa Suarez, Inspirational memories in lockdown
Music created by The Creative Space Arlington homeless hostel resident participants 

During the challenging pandemic period, making music, performing and writing/recording songs on zoom or outdoors has been a form of mutual and self-care for music group participants. By doing so, they focused on the healing practice of their music. Current band members and new participants performed and created new material featured in this video and also play and sing their songs from LIFE, their debut album. 

Federico Gallo, Care to Create
Two Mix Media Collages, 2021

The art class focuses on self-perception and self-representation. During the process of mixing different techniques and media (drawing, painting, collage, photography) the participants experiment and express themselves whilst being introduced to fine and commercial art. During the workshops, art making becomes a tool for self investigation while the group is involved in a discussion that feeds and contributes to the creative process. From book references and art critic the objective of the activities is to create a playful atmosphere, improving skills and externalising what is inside. The artwork is an extension of the self and the works aim to reflect our inner thoughts, encapsulating our fears and desires during a challenging, yet creative time.

Crestina Velia Forcina, photo collage

The images in this collage were taken over a one-year period from spring 2020 – 2021 by participants from The Creative Space photography workshops. During online weekly Zoom sessions, participants shared and talked about the images they took with their smartphones. Through the act of taking images, they created their own sense of self-care by attending the sessions and capturing the things they came across. Some of these mattered a lot to them, some were exercises on recording their impressions, or experiments with light and shadow. Among the subjects are used gloves, a nurtured house plant, the furry companion, the person begging on the street, the essential worker, objects arranged at home and those found during daily walks. The images were later collaged by the workshop participants, including those newly joined, when we met once again in person.  

Silvia Sacrestano, textile collage

During this pandemic year 2020/21 the Arlington residents have been experimenting with various fashion techniques creating face masks on zoom.

The group used prints from previous years’ projects (handmade painted cushions from 2019) and created a collage of different funky fashion collections with Covid face masks. 

Please take note of the intricate, handcrafted, unique, and differently styled pieces.

Brian Baderman, Care

Incorporating original pieces by participants of a weekly art and creative writing workshop at The Creative Space programme at Arlington. Workshop participants explore loss, hope, and aspiration through words and images. Facilitated by Brian Baderman, a graduate of the RCA.

About the artists

Yasmin Falahat is a multi-disciplinary artist and ceramicist based in London. After graduating from studying Textile Design BA at Chelsea College of Art in 2014, Yasmin did a short ceramics course in 2018 and started selling her ceramics later that year.

Her pomegranate and fig ceramics, inspired by her mixed heritage, have been featured in Real Homes Magazine, Living Etc, Homes & Antiques, The Observer Food Monthly, Mollie Makes and Olive Magazine. Yasmin designs, makes and glazes each piece by hand. 

Mareike Günsche is a London based photographer and educator with a special interest in social change and photography’s ability to collaborate and empower.  Mareike has a personal connection to the campaign U=U and has worked with communities across the world highlighting the campaign through her work. 

After working as a press photographer Mareike studied photojournalism. Her work has appeared in international media, has been exhibited in Europe, Asia, and the United States and has won a number of awards. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Photography at the State University of Arts in Mongolia and photojournalism trainer (Asian region) for the Global Press Journal.

Tamu Nkiwane (b.1990, London) completed an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London in 2017, and a BA Hons in Fine Art – Sound Art module at Middlesex University in 2013. 

Tamu says ‘In my practice I work with a wide range of materials: found objects, digital images, sound, video, performance and writing. I try to create connecting stories and a shared visual universe. I show this by using old applications such as film cameras, writing from hand and computer game visuals. My work explores themes of identity, social interaction, history and spiritualism through these means.’

Recent solo exhibitions include Zabludowicz Collection, London and National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo. Selected performances and group exhibitions include BBC New Creatives, Artegon Site de Montmartre, Kaunas Biennale, ICA London, White Crypt Gallery London, Swansong, Petites Serres Paris, Café OTO, London. Nkiwane holds an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London and is the recipient of the following awards: Villiers David Travel Award, Artegon III award and Leverhulme Scholarship and Lucy Halford Bursary Fund for Royal College of Art. 

Tamu was also awarded SPACE Ilford Patrons & Friends Studio Bursary in 2019.

Tamu Nkiwane devised, designed and produced Myzine, with UNICEF Child Friendly Redbridge Ambassadors, Redbridge Youth Council and Youth Service, adding his own work as well as that of visiting artists Richard Ikhide and Eric Telfort. 

Alaa Alsaraji is a London-based visual artist, designer and creative facilitator. Through her creative practice she aims to explore themes such as belonging, reimagining space and community and the impacts of Islamophobia in British society, predominantly using the medium of digital illustration. She also works with various creative and educational organisations and collectives as a facilitator, delivering creative workshops with children and women’s groups. In her work she seeks to emphasise the value of using creativity as a pedagogical process to address and explore structural issues and their impact on individuals and communities. 

Alaa is also the arts editor of Khidr Collective, a multidisciplinary artist collective creating platforms and spaces for young Muslim creatives through the annual Khidr Zine and online platform.

Exhibition images and text created by Redbridge Youth Council participants.

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Donna Riddington is a multidisciplinary artist, graphic designer, and fellow nature lover, based in north London. Her artist practice often involves community collaborations to empower people, using artistic and creative methods. Projects include working as an artist-ally to the Catwalk4Power empowerment project that is led by women with HIV. During early lockdown periods, she was involved in a planting project with #FreeTheVaccine activists to demand covid-19 vaccine equality, globally. Donna recently guided young conservationists from Redbridge through a logo design process that will make their youth-led re-wilding initiatives more visible in their community. 

Isa Suarez is a composer, songwriter and singer originally from the Basque region (Spain/France). She trained as a classical musician (piano, Le Conservatoire) and has an eclectic and versatile practice. She has worked extensively for film, theatre and performance, as well as public art. Isa has exhibited at Tate Britain, Whitechapel Art Gallery and Berlin Art Biennale. Her compositions have been performed and broadcast worldwide on radio, television and online including BBC and Channel 4.

Isa seeks to articulate diverse lived experiences and bring together new dialogues, musical techniques and audiences. Inspired by her interest in human rights and community engagement, Suarez has created a number of large-scale projects that explore these subjects through performance, site-specific work and musical scores often devised with community input. These projects have led her to work with People United, Arlington House/One Housing, St Mungo’s, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, War Child and Art Angel. 

Collaborations include the London Contemporary Chamber Orchestra, musicians from English National Opera, South Bank Sinfonia; Inner Vision Ensemble, The Kaos Music Theatre Choir, The New Teenagers Gospel Choir and Teatro Vivo. 

Federico Gallo is a visual artist based in London. Graduated from Royal College of Art (MA in Communication Art) in 2008 he has been working in social art projects since 2014, leading art classes and workshops for SPACE in Arlington and St Mungo’s. Shows and collaborations include the Royal Academy of Art, Saatchi & Saatchi and Royal College of Art and his work appeared in The Observer, Folha de Sao Paulo and Dazed & Confused

Crestina Velia Forcina has led the photography workshops at The Creative Space, Arlington since 2018. She has also run clay sessions for residents at St Mungo’s in Camden. She is originally from New York, where she studied photography at the School of Visual Arts. Later, she received her MA from the Byam Shaw School of Art in London.

Silvia Sacrestano is an Italian fashion print designer graduated from Central Saint Martin’s in 2000, currently working as a freelance artist for fashion, community projects, museums and academic schools. Silvia is based in central London; she is interested in helping the community by sharing her knowledge, enthusiasm & artistic tools of self-expression. She infuses others with her passion, to inspire, whilst exploring visual imagination & wellbeing. 

Sarah de Winter currently runs the arts programme for those living in homeless hostel accommodation based at Arlington in Camden, part of One Housing, run in partnership with SPACE.

Sarah has 25 years experience working in creative environments starting in television at Channel 4 and moving onto arts admin and production roles at renowned venues such as the English National Opera, the ICA, a sound art research centre at University of the Arts (CRiSAP), the Tate Modern, The Old Vic Tunnels and The Barbican. Also as a freelance production manager and producer on numerous theatre productions, exhibitions, concerts and events.

Arlington is owned and managed by One Housing Group, a leading provider of affordable housing, care and support across London and the South East. Arlington takes a revolutionary approach to tackling homelessness in the UK. It is the largest mixed use hostel in the UK, providing a stimulating community of high quality accommodation for homeless people, social enterprises, low rent accommodation for young professionals and low-income workers; together with a state of the art Conference Centre based in Camden. It provides 139 accommodation units, of which 95 are for homeless people who are on the various stages of their journey from homelessness back to independent living. Arlington provides high quality on-site care and support, along with bespoke education, training and job opportunities to help customers progress to independent living and employment.