Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Sir Anthony Caro, Yinko Shonibare, Gillian Wearing, Jonathan Yeo, Bob & Roberta Smith, Nathan Coley and Nika Neelova highlight landmark exhibition in aid of Crisis next Spring.
The Crisis Commission has brought together a number of celebrated British artists exhibiting major new works in a spectacular exhibition opening 14 March to 22 April 2012 at Somerset House in London. The landmark event will be a highlight of London’s thriving art scene, showcasing contemporary artists of the highest calibre who have rarely, if ever, exhibited together under one roof.
Responding to themes and issues relating to homelessness – isolation, property, security and space, the artists will donate new works for the exhibition. Sir Anthony Caro will donate an existing work. Homeless and vulnerably housed clients of Crisis will have their work exhibited alongside the established artists for the duration of the exhibition.
An auction of exhibited works will take place at Christie’s on Thursday 3 May, with all proceeds going to Crisis. The cost of creating works to fill a wing of Somerset House will be met by lead sponsor GlaxoSmithKline.
Leslie Morphy, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “We are thrilled that so many leading contemporary artists are participating in the Crisis Commission. This prestigious event will raise much needed funds for our work and bring a new focus to the worrying current rise in homelessness in society.”
Laurence Sillars, Curator of the Crisis Commission and Chief Curator at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, said: “The Crisis Commission will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience major works from our greatest contemporary artists reacting to an issue that is sadly becoming ever more prominent in today’s society – homelessness. It is hugely exciting that artists of this calibre are right now making original works that will reflect on the exhibition’s themes of isolation, property, security and space. I can’t wait to install them in Somerset House for all to enjoy, but also to provoke thought on what it is like not to have a home.”
Gwyn Miles, Director, Somerset House Trust said “We are very proud to be working in partnership with Crisis again. And we are particularly pleased that such a stellar group of contemporary artists will be displaying their work in the newly restored East Wing Gallery at Somerset House. It is an exciting project and one which we are thrilled to present to the public.”
Antony Gormley said: “The most powerful social sculpture of our times is made by the quiet performances of the homeless within the shelter provided by the entrances to the shops and restaurants of our inner cities. This exhibition allows one to think about those bodies that have no place. I believe that sculpture can powerfully evoke the nameless, the voiceless and the placeless and I am proud to be part of and am inspired by this visionary project.”
The Crisis Commission will raise funds for Crisis and awareness around a reality faced by an increasing number of people. As the economic downturn and austerity measures bite, homelessness is again on the rise in the UK.
After years of declining trends, 2010 marked the turning point when all forms of homelessness began to rise. Over the course of last year the number of people approaching their council as homeless has risen by 15%. 3,975 people slept rough in the capital during 2010/11, an 8 percent rise on the figure for the previous year. Research predicts that the combination of the continuing economic downturn and the Coalition Government’s radical reforms to housing and welfare, particularly its cuts to Housing Benefit, will cause homelessness to increase yet further.