Since 2010, SPACE has been running 12 artist studios at Arlington homeless people’s hostel in Camden.
One of them, Studio 5, is a dedicated space for use by the residents. The residents are involved in deciding the Creative Space programme content and use the studio for developing their own work, as well as participating in artist-led projects.
Participants learn about art and artists, and acquire new skills alongside personal development outcomes such as increased confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline, relaxation and well-being. Arlington staff and support workers are invited to drop in for their own enjoyment.
As well as workshops, the programme organises free trips to exhibitions in partnership with Tate, Whitechapel Gallery, V&A, Royal Academy and the British Museum.
The Creative Space annual exhibition and SPACE Open Studios event takes place in October.
“I really enjoyed the visit to the Whitechapel Gallery, it was very exciting and speaking about the art on display with Francesca it was informative and creatively inspiring for me.”
“The art group visits and workshops help my depression by reducing my feelings of isolation and emptiness and give me a chance to communicate with others.”
“Art is helping me feel more emotionally stable and giving me a feeling of purpose in life.”
“When I moved to Arlington, I was angry all the time, I could never sleep, I had nothing to do, I was lost. Since starting these workshops, it feels as if I had a job, because I have something to do every week, I have a purpose. My mind is occupied, I have things to think about… I have to tell you again – coming here has really changed my life.”
– Regular Creative Space participants
Arlington (formerly Arlington House) opened as a hostel for homeless men in 1905 and is a historical landmark in the history of social housing. In 2010 One Housing Group, taking inspiration from New York City’s Times Square scheme, transformed Arlington to create a contemporary community and social context where artists are part of the mix along with residents, training providers and social enterprises.
Arlington was noted for its partnership excellence in the 2013 Public Services Awards. Read The Guardian‘s article on the partnership here.
One of the UK’s leading online arts materials supplier GreatArt kindly supports The Creative Space at Arlington through materials.