LONDON – British illustrator Ralph Steadman visited on Tuesday an outdoor exhibition he is supporting about homelessness in central London.
“A Year Outdoors” is a project led by conceptual artist Beau that puts the spotlight on homelessness in the United Kingdom by putting “the door,” a symbol of comfort and home, at the epicenter of a touring exhibition.
“Cuts to housing, mental health and social services are driving more and more people into critical homeless situations, which is more than rough sleeping,” Beau explained.
“The hidden homeless community is often out of sight – sofa surfing, crashing with friends, staying in squats or communal homes, hostels and long-term B&B residences, all forms of homelessness often experienced for years,” the artist added.
In 2017, ten reclaimed doors were dotted around different streets in the English city of Bristol.
Over the course of a year, some of the doors seamlessly merged with their surroundings as graffiti artists were quick to include them in their artworks, while others remained ignored and neglected.
The doors were then taken down and received makeovers from well-known artists – including Ralph Steadman, Ken Loach and Stephen Fry, among others – in preparation for a touring exhibition, the first leg of which was in the courtyard of St. Martin in the Fields church in London’s Trafalgar Square.
A central part of the project is that when the tour comes to an end in December 2019, the artworks will be auctioned and all proceeds will be donated to charities working with people in critical need in the UK.
“Everyone should have a door and if not we need to look at our own to imagine being without it,” Beau said in a statement for the project.
“A Year Outdoors” is on at St. Martin in the Fields until Oct. 31.
An auction of the 10 framed doors will take place in December 2019.