The Islington Company is holding an art exhibition by the renowned artist Efrain Vidal, in support of the Margins Project at the Union Chapel. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the sale of each painting will go to the charity. There will also be a free drinks reception hosted by The Islington Company at our gallery space in Essex road, where we will be encouraging donations.
Margins is a small local project run by the Union Chapel in Islington. They run both an art group and a framing workshop. The project aims to provide a safe space for people who have been affected by homelessness and those often living on the margins of society.
The diverse groups are really close and engage in creative activities mostly painting, clay sculptures, film, photography. They also run a framing workshop run professional framer by Liz Walker, which allows local artists to attend and frame their work. These workshops encourage people from a variety of backgrounds to interact with one another.
One member, after a traumatic 8 months away, came back to the Art Group because it was a safe space. He came back on a Tuesday afternoon, sat down with a cup a tea, started conversing about politics and began his work on a painting of ships.
Another member comes to the art group regularly and mainly focuses on modeling clay figures. He uses his art to work through mental instabilities that he experiences, but he also comes because it is a place where he feels protected. The group makes sure that he is taken care of by making him lunch, giving ideas on what to create and providing him with a space in which to express his creativity.
The art and framing group operate as a studio instead of an instructed class. This allows people to explore what makes sense for them at the time. Art has a funny way of bringing together people of different backgrounds and different experiences and giving them a common language. The group can talk about darkening colors or known artists or ask someone’s opinion on a piece. This language puts everyone on the same ground, creating an atmosphere where people are equal and comfortable around each other.
Interacting with a range of different people these groups would not normally come into contact with, such as artists struggling to find work and those engaging in creative projects for therapeutic reasons normalizes their respective situations.
If pretentions are left aside, art has a wonderful ability to bring people together regardless of whether it is hanging at the Tate Modern, the Islington Company Studio, or the hallways of Union Chapel.
Come and visit us at The Islington Company and enjoy the artwork in our brand new gallery space, all in support of a local charity.