Shining a light on homelessness

THE GIBBERD Gallery hosted an awards ceremony for three of Harlow College’s most promising Art and Design students: Adina Frunza, Eden Wright and Holly Allison.

Astro Lighting, a Harlow based lighting manufacturer, commissioned Art and Design students to create pieces of art to be sold at auction in aid of the homeless charity Streets2Homes.

‘The people from Astro Lighting told us that the theme for our work was ‘Home’, and gave us a £200 light to incorporate into our Art,’ said Adina, one of the three students who’s work was exhibited at the Gibberd Gallery.

‘I called my final piece Broken Vision, and its the iris of my mothers eye completed in acrylic and pencil. My mum is a single mother of two children, and even though we moved around quite a bit as children she made everywhere we lived feel like home, so it seemed fitting that the most expressive part of my mother would symbolise home to me. Besides,’ she continued, ‘everyone always says I look like my father, but I’m honoured that they all agree my eyes are definitely my mothers.’

Work displayed by Eden Wright (Image by Harlow College)

Each artist interpreted the chosen theme uniquely and has succeeded in projecting personal experience into the final pieces, as well as elements that are relevant to those struggling with homelessness.

Eden described her final piece as representing the positives that can come out of negativity, with an ambiguous painting of a badger in a woodland setting.

‘The woodlands are close to my home. And the badger represents me. They’re shy and rarely seen, just like me. I always sit at the back of the class.’ she explained in a soft, quiet voice. ‘The backdrop of my piece includes cut down tree stumps, which represent the breaking or damaging of something beautiful. The new growth all around shows that fresh life will grow even from a negative situation.’

The student work is currently on display at the Gibberd Gallery (Image by Harlow College)

The award ceremony was attended by friends, family and members of Harlow College, as well as the founders of both Streets2Homes and Astro Lighting.

First prize went to Holly, who won over the judges with her close up of a cat, painted in acrylic.

‘I chose to portray a curled up cat, because cats are flexible. They can sleep anywhere and find comfort where they can, I thought this went well with the theme of homelessness,’ said Holly. ‘The theme was very open to interpretation and I just wanted to make something that was relatable, and there are a lot of pet owners out there.’

The three students are yet to hear what their individual artworks sold for, and were unconcerned with who got the highest bid.

‘I don’t care what it sold for, as long as it’s enough to help someone,’ said Edina, ‘It’s just really nice to know that we’ve all contributed to helping those who are in need.’

Students art work was produced for Astro Lighting (Image by Harlow College)

Adam Spartley

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