Citz are very excited to have started delivering a creative project at a St Mungo’s hotel in Wandsworth housing former rough sleepers and those experiencing homelessness. Theatre maker Matthew Evans is leading on the creative direction with Citz Engagement Manager Jessie supporting with project management.
Participants have been provided with a bag of art and craft materials and each week they are sent a creative challenge from us. They are welcome to respond in a variety of different ways, e.g. writing, drawing, photography, collaging, music-making. We then host feedback sessions in small groups where participants share the inspiration and ideas behind their work and offer constructive feedback to one another. The first week’s Zoom sessions generated a lively and thoughtful creative dialogue and offered space for connection and conversation between participants.
In this first blog post you will see some examples of the work created by the artists in response to the first week’s challenge – a series of questions asking participants to consider the different senses experienced inside and outside the hotel room setting (sight, smell, sound and touch).
We will continue to add blogs each week to showcase the creative responses we receive and to hear from a range of different people involved with the project.
"Hoarding and Hospitalisations" - click the arrow to read
I've been hoarding. Looking around I see brown lunch bags: contents untouched. Pots of porridge, yoghurts, pain-au-chocolat, muffins, chocolate bars, and fruit - which I had been craving - congregate congenially on the desk.
Through the mirror at the foot of the bed, I'm transported to my second hospitalisation. I've spent a lot of my adult life in hospitals. The first time was over Christmas. I was content, nay happy to lie in a deserted hospital, in solitude. Glad not to have to go out into the bitter, biting, freezing, icy cold. Yet grateful for the serene scene from the window: all was calm, all was quiet. Looking out on that feast of Stephen, all the snow lay round about, clean and crisp and even.
The second hospitalisation occurred just 13 months later. In the hiatus, I'd rented my first apartment. Built in 1910, it had walls for miles. It offered solitude, newly varnished original wood floors, happiness, silence, and space. As my health deteriorated, living there became too much of a challenge, so I broke the lease, made plans, and I don't know if the gods laughed, but things went awry.
It snowed during the second hospitalisation as well, and I expired in the warmth whilst enjoying the unbroken Swarovski-vista à l'extériuer. For most of the 8 weeks I was on my own, but for two weeks I shared the room with a hepatic patient. Her strangest habit was stock-piling sachets from meals and giving them to her family. Are they not capable of buying these things at the supermarket, I thought. My concerns, however, were focussed on discerning between reality and the transcendental effects of steroids, and figuring out where I was going to live.
Looking up from the bed in this room, the ceiling reminds me of the wall in the hospital. At first it was just a wall, then after weeks of steroid treatment, it came alive: like squirming maggots. I became obsessed by this living entity and felt the pioneering drive to explore and scale that wall with my newly acquired superhuman ability: I was tripping!
Though I've lost count of hospitalisations and temporary domiciles. At some point, I began to understand the transcendental significance of hoarding. It blocks and disturbs the flow of energy on this and other levels of existence. Practically, hoarding creates clutter.