Charitable fundraising event for RefuAid 20.11 – 20.12.2020
19 Artists, Over 60 Pieces of Work, a minimum of 20% donation to the charity.
How do you stay home, when you no longer have one?
The theme of home and belonging is something that comes to our mind every festive season, it is also something many people reflected on in 2020 – whether you have been stuck at home for weeks; or are not able to get home; or have to keep distance from loved ones – we all have our complex feelings about our homes and sense of belonging this year.
We are very pleased to have partnered up with an incredible small charity RefuAid for this special event At Home. Founded in 2015, they provide practical solutions to the challenges many refugees face when rebuilding their lives in the UK. We love their extremely human way of working – all support is provided based on each individual’s circumstances, they really harness the power of human connections and make the people they support feel at home.
It’s also amazing to share favourite prints of some of the wonderful people at RefuAid, and read about why they have chosen certain pieces – scroll down to read all about them.
Helen from Mexico
Volunteer tutor on RefuAid’s Language Programme
I relate to this Wuon-Gean Ho’s Twenty Twenty on a personal level very much. What it says to me is that this woman who has come home to her own calm, cocooned space after many different struggles, and is finally at peace with herself and her environment. For those with an unstable sense of home for so long, safety and security in a place all of one’s own is invaluable, and, particularly for women, something so many of us dream of. A place where we can be at peace, alone, protected. When I see this image I think of comfort, an appreciation of the solace that the mundane can bring, and the freedom to live one’s own life in the way one chooses.
I also love Butterfly Ocean by Trevor Price. There is so much going on in this picture that relates to the search for a home. It references not only the very real physical struggles of people trying to find safety by boat, but symbolically represents the malestrom of life for many displaced people who dream of finding a place where they can just be. The butterflies represent the souls of the dead, those who fell by the wayside and did not achieve their dream, while the swirling of the waves beneath the boat represents the currents that bear us along our journey. The boat is a cocoon of safety in which we may find the companionship of fellow voyagers who share our goal, even though we may come from different cultures and contexts, represented by the multitude of images on the bodies of the travellers and the suggestion of linked hands, just out of view.
The Mothers by Simon Tozer
Mona from Iran
RefuAid Language Programme graduate, now studying Fashion and Textiles at the University of West England
I love the colours in Simon Tozer’s The Mothers. It gives me a chilled feeling and I see some things that resonates my work as well.
Mona prefers not to be pictured
Temesgen from Ethiopia
RefuAid Language Programme graduate, aspired to join university and study Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
I’m interested in Trevor Price’s Tea Drinkers, because it is beyond the ink. And it clearly shows two people discussing something. For people like me who are isolated, depressed and living alone, it shows affection, relationship and socialization. It indicates future hope after Covid ends. Moreover, it reminds me of back home when I see a cat on the floor and paint on the wall.
I also like Trevor’s To Dream – I can imagine a big dream, thinking about future and overcoming challenges while laying on a sofa, in a small room, and having wine. I’m also a dreamer.
Wuon-Gean Ho’s Holding Air is really exciting because it shows the dream and hope of being with someone. It could be thinking or missing somebody we love. This reminds me of someone I used to love.
Temesgen prefers not to be pictured, but has asked to use the photo above – it’s of a prominent Ethiopian singer, who was from Temesgen’s hometown of Oromo. He was killed recently in the conflicts that are continuing to affect the region and it’s had a huge impact on Temesgen. Temesgen is quite the activist and continues to raise awareness about what is happening in Ethiopia.
Amany from Syria
RefuAid applicant and an oil painter
Cherry Blossoms by Susanna Widmann – Anything might be a warm home in this shell. The place might be very small and cramped, but everyone inside this house is safe and through it, the blossom of life begins again.
And with Trevor Price’s Butterfly Ocean, I feel in this print is the journey of every living being to find a homeland or its home.
Catherine from the UK
Volunteer Tutor on RefuAid’s Language Programme
I love Mandy Wong’s Celebration Dance – it’s what life’s all about! We ride waves, which are sometimes huge and overwhelming, sometimes fun and manageable and sometimes flat and dull. The monsters represent the very different kinds of people we rely on to get us through. Some are small and quiet, some loud and wild – I love the eccentricity and the idea of life continuously moving in all directions.
My quote for this picture would be – “the different people we choose to share our life with carry us through different wild and rough times”
Wuon-Gean Ho’s Twenty Twenty is how I am in my own home. The lady looks comfortable and warm in her cosy, safe home. She has everything she needs – tea, light, water, warmth, somewhere to sit in peace and is surrounded by her personal belongings.
“Peace at last” – I would say.
Maisie from the UK
Equal Access Loan Officer, RefuAid
I have chosen Lenny Lane’s Winter Shadow II as one of the pieces that I liked best! It reminded me of my time during lockdown. I found that taking a daily walk allowed me to clear my mind and process the uncertain situation. It reminds me of home and my time trying to appreciate the little things.
I have also chosen Lily Bank’s Seaside – I love to spend a day by the seaside with my family and would often find ourselves sitting by the seaside until the sun has gone down. Some of my favourite memories are of my family and I sat by the sea having a picnic. It reminds me to think about the good times that are to come.