Unlocked Resident Art Show is a huge success

The art show launched with a private viewing at Koppel X Gallery in Piccadilly Circus on Friday 4 November and the public exhibition took place from 5-8 November.

The private viewing was attended by artists, staff members, our sponsors, and the general public. Residents who were involved in a number of projects we ran during the pandemic including the Every Kinda People podcast, the Lockdown Doorstep project, All Change, Cubitt Arts, and the Sidney Miller Art Group also attended.

In total, the show featured over 200 pieces of art, created by 41 residents of various tenures. Artwork included paintings, photography, textile art, and graphic designs to name a few. 

Mandy Worster, (pictured on the left) who organises the art show says, "It’s been four years since we’ve been able to hold our bi-annual art exhibition, due to the global pandemic, so it's been a long time coming. This exhibition is an opportunity for us to showcase and celebrate our artistic residents and in 2022 we used the opportunity to reflect back on the difficult times we have had, and how both collectively and individually the creative process has helped us survive and come through."

All artwork was purchased via the Unlocked website which is still open for sales. So far over £9,000 worth of art has been sold, with 60% of proceeds going directly to the artists and the remaining 40% being donated to the Notting Hill Genesis Hardship Fund which supports residents experiencing financial difficulties. This year we have awarded over £120,000 to support approximately 500 families with essential household items, and emergency removal costs for those fleeing abuse.

For many of the residents involved, this was the first time their artwork had been displayed in a public exhibition and it was wonderful seeing friends and family members there to support them.  

Other residents were no strangers to art exhibitions, having years of professional art experience with them.  

Featured artists included: 

Becky Lord, a young artist with autism who lives in one of our supported housing schemes in Essex. Becky has been painting for over ten years and was beaming throughout the night at her first public exhibition. 

Joan (pictured on the right) lives and creates her art in both South London and South-West France and currently lives in one of our shared ownership extra care schemes. Joan has been weaving and creating textiles pieces for over 40 years and is inspired by her life experience and Guyanese heritage as colour plays an important role in both her life and art. She is a member of the British Tapestry Group (BTG) and South London Women Artists (SLWA) and has widely exhibited her work with both groups including Pillow Talk, an exhibition at the Tate in 2018.

Rebecca Barrett is a young artist living in the Aylesbury estate who has been involved in community groups from a young age. This was her first public exhibition, and her love of Alice and Wonderland is easily reflected in her work. Rebecca paints to relieve stress and get away from technology and is now studying towards a marketing and branding degree in London.

Fernene Amour has been heavily involved in the show since 2018. Although she is not a Notting Hill Genesis resident, she is very familiar with our work in the Aylesbury community and is passionate about giving back to her community. This art show was her debut feature with Unlocked and also her first public exhibition. She is now planning her own art exhibition which will launch next year.

We would like to extend a massive thanks to our event sponsors Equans and PRP, who have been incredibly supportive throughout. Senior business development manager at Equans Andrew Troop said, “It was a pleasure for Equans to sponsor the Unlocked22 Resident Art Exhibition, through our partnership with Notting Hill Genesis.”

“Following the pandemic and with the current cost of living crisis, our Social Value teams are working with residents to create even more resilient communities, through local training, employment opportunities, support to vulnerable residents, and a focus on place-shaping and wellbeing. Initiatives like this exhibition, celebrate and champion resident creativity, passion, and talent whilst contributing valuable funds to support those most in need.”

Andrew Mellor, Partner at PRP: “We are very pleased to have sponsored this year’s Notting Hill Genesis Resident Art Exhibition and to promote the artists who made this event so special with such a diverse and high-quality array of artwork.

It is important to our practice that we support and help to encourage those involved in the arts sectors. We look forward to continuing to work with NHG on such initiatives.”