Tete de Alencar, Nikki Alford, Mat Amp, Henrietta Armstrong, Emily Baker, Susan Bazin, Alison Berry, Katy Binks, Lizz Brady, Jack Blackburn, Finnula Campbell, Tamsen Courtenay, Ros Davies, Shona Davies, Brian Deighton, Stephanie Douet, Panyin-Ewusi Aikins, Jack Fawdry Tatham, Chloe Fremantle Blegvad, Dave Fuller, Saadeh George, Stacey Guthrie, Caro Halford, Kirsty Harris, Linda Hubbard, Mathew Hayward, David Jane, Marcia, Araba Ocran, Jane Oldfield, Lesley O’Mara, Charley Peters, Lewi Quinn, Zelda Rhiando, Madeleine Ross, Fiona Rourke, Andrew Swan,Stuart Taylor, Kirstie Tucker, James Tuitt.
Saturday 1st December and Sunday 2nd December, 11-6pm at 96 Great Guildford Street, London SE1 0ES
Get there early to enjoy cake!
Bad Behaviour together with St Mungos and the pavement magazine have created this exhibition to raise money for the homeless. Creative people from all walks of life, including those impacted by homelessness have donated their artworks for the show; all works will be for sale.
As well as raising money, we aim to encourage visitors and participants to look more closely at an issue that people all too often turn away from. It will feature some art pieces that question stereotypes about homelessness, by creating a space where homeless people are not only visible, but also creative and relevant.
We hope you can come and give us your support.
The Pavement is a small charity founded in London in 2005. Every two months we produce 8,000 free magazines for homeless and insecurely housed people in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The content is mostly written, researched and drawn/photographed by volunteers with experience of homelessness, or journalists (or both!) who have a unique understanding of what it’s like to be surviving without a home. You can help support the Pavement reach rough sleepers by donating, for example £1 pays all the costs for one magazine. One magazine can be life-saving as it also contains a 16-page central list collating all the info about opening times and what’s on offer for a hungry person who wants to find a shower, get a bed for the night or needs support for any mental health or active addiction. Readers can find the Pavement at hostels, day centres, homeless surgeries soup-runs and libraries. We are hugely grateful for the artists at Bad Behaviour supporting us. Thank you.
In March this year I was given notice to quit my home of sixteen years. No reason was given, just a Section 21 No-Fault Notice to Quit. I’d always paid the rent on time, looked after the property to the point where it was improved and been a fairly model tenant. Still, the landlord had decided he didn’t want to renew my tenancy and that was that.
Due to Buy to Let mortgage lenders being allowed to state that properties can’t be let to people on benefits I found that all the adverts for houses now stated ‘No kids/pets/DSS’. Being in receipt of some housing benefit and having a nine-year-old and a dog made it legal to discriminate against me.
I was unable to find anywhere else for us to live and we ended up being evicted and council accepted a duty to house us. Up until a few days before we had to be out of the property I still didn’t know where me and my child were going to be sleeping. We were eventually told we were being booked into a Travelodge about seven miles away.
It was my child’s 9th birthday when we left our home and checked into the Travelodge. The receptionist was polite enough but there was a definite air of being looked at in a way you don’t normally get when you’re a guest in a hotel. You can tell they’re thinking ‘So what did these two do to end up homeless?’. See, when you mention homelessness there’s an assumption that you’ve done something ‘wrong’ to end up in that situation.
We were in that Travelodge for a week and then one day we were moved almost a hundred miles away, no warning, no offers of any help with travel costs, nothing. I was still dazed from how quickly this had all happened and being treated like this was the final straw. Having worked in social housing for people with mental health problems I can sympathise with how difficult the jobs of the people working in the housing/homeless departments are but we were being treated like pieces in a game of chess that no one wanted to play. All humanity was gone.
There are no cooking facilities available while you’re in the hotel so you either spend a fortune on eating out or you live off sandwiches and crisps. My bloody-minded side kicked in and I decided that I was going to make ‘real’ food so I set about experimenting with what I could make with very basic implements. My favourite was the scrambled eggs made in a roasting bag dangled in a boiling kettle served on toast made with an iron. It became a daily joke on social media to post my culinary creations that had been made with very unlikely tools.
The second Travelodge was in a service station and seemed to be popular with tradesmen who sat outside each night drinking alcohol they’d bought in the garage. When I took the dog out at night they would catcall and make comments. Despite having the dog with me it was very intimidating and scary.
I’m fortunate that my particular brand of whoopass lead to us being, relatively quickly, placed in temporary accommodation where we have an unsecured tenancy via the council for up to two years. However, it’s meant a major upheaval as it’s an hour away from where we lived. I was driving my child to school each day until it became clear that we weren’t going to be housed any time soon so we made the decision to permanently relocate here. It’s been hard but we’re some of the lucky ones. Others fall through the gaping holes in the very inadequate safety nets caused by a government seemingly intent on eradicating the poor and vulnerable. We don’t have any security but we have a roof over us for the time being and for now, that will have to be enough. The effect on my physical and mental health was severe and at points I needed interventions due to being suicidal. Until the government acknowledge and recognise that a safe and secure place to live is a fundamental human need this crisis will continue and that cannot be acceptable.
In November 2017 I started helping the StreetfoodPZ project, a voluntary organisation based in Penzance, Cornwall, primarily dedicated to providing a hot meal for the homeless and vulnerable every evening at 6pm.
In June 2018 I held a show called ‘human(e)’ a body of work which was in response to my experiences and observations both of these citizens of Penzance and the reactions of the local people and businesses to them. I witnessed and still witness on a daily basis the incredible compassion and charity shown by local residents and businesses dedicated to the care and welfare of their less fortunate and vulnerable neighbours.
I have also witnessed over the last year the tangible and visceral resistance shown by some local organisations, individuals and even international corporations.
The situation that this vulnerable section of the community has found itself in has polarised and divided not just Penzance but other towns all over the country.
The pieces showing at this fantastic event ‘The Ideal Homeless Show’ are part of the human(e) project.
On a final and more positive note, I have just received some funding to set up Our Town, a project dedicated to breaking down the current divisions in the community through art. The first stage will be a series of printmaking workshops in January for the guests of the StreetfoodPZ project.