Anglia TV recently covered Juris, one of our art group painters, and his brilliant portrait work. Juris has become a bit of an icon of Hope and I have mentioned his work before, and make no excuses for mentioning it again, given the spirit and talent he demonstrates, and the overall quality of work produced by the art group with help from the group leaders. The link is here:
We also recently had Alan Moore, writer, artist, polymath, legend of comic book art, in to meet with our creative writing group of service users. That a man of his stature and repute can give a few hours to advise, support and encourage our clients is a testimony to his qualities as a person and his commitment to this community.
We also now currently have Lee Burrows back again helping teach welding, in the course of creating an artwork out of knives obtained through Police knives amnesty, even though he is very much better known as a brilliant painter:  .
Also, on 28th April Rosemary Dery is selling some of her specially created art for Hope in Northampton Market square. Her work is challenging and makes you think.
The art community of Northampton – writers, painters, video arts, musicians – shows incredible willingness to support Hope and its something we value and recognise its importance. Viewing and creating art gives Hope; and Hope gives art to our clients and the community, through the creative opportunities we enable. There is a more abstract sense in which enabling a community project, supported by the people of Northampton, that helps people down on their luck, is a itself a creative act, and making art somehow is part of that self-expression.
We want to nurture such partnerships, and get more people involved – so anyone with an exciting idea that we can turn into joy and pleasure and inspiration should contact me to discuss your idea.
We had no luck finding a mural artist, for example, so we are always on the lookout for new ideas and new talent that communicated what we do, can involve and stimulate our clients, and inspires the movement for community change Hope embodies. Whilst we welcome traditional arts – I paint icons, the most traditional art imaginable – the more radical and challenging, and greater the diversity of media that people work in, the better, I say: that’s a crucial purpose of art too. Hope is about challenging the causes of the poverty we deal with, challenging thinking about why poverty of this scale is allowed to exist, every day, and if art can help us move society forward, bring it on.