Moortown Baptist Church, 204 King Lane, Leeds LS17 6AA. Map Tel: (0113) 2693750 A member of the YBA. A registered charity No 1128960. Terms of use

Art by Asylum Seekers in Leeds: an Invitation to two Exhibitions

10 June 2010

This invitation has come to me from Chris Verney, the Project Director of Integrate-Leeds. I am very glad to pass it on.

In Moortown Baptist Church, we have had significant experiences with asylum seekers in recent years. Some who have come to the church have been blessed by being given leave to remain in this country. Others, mothers and children, have suffered immensely by being refused and deported. We who remain here have conflicting thoughts about what is going on, troubled consciences, and concern for the suffering of some of our friends who are torn away from good socially constructive lives they were living here to struggles for survival. So this invitation has significance for us.

I am told by a reliable informant, who is called Hilary, that she has seen some remarkable art work on a visit to Integrate-Leeds. One was of a beautiful farmhouse in Africa, a home that had to be left behind but still stands in the memory of one asylum seeker. Another was, at first glance, nothing but a brown smudge on the paper. A closer look revealed that underneath there was a picture of a police car and policemen: the memory was too painful for the eight-year old artist to let it come to light.

We would like to invite you to view a series of exhibitions across Leeds to celebrate Refugee Week (June 14th – 20th). Each exhibition explores different aspects of the process of integration into UK society and features artworks by asylum seekers, refugees and pupils from local schools.

This is a rare chance to see artwork by ordinary people living in extraordinary circumstances far from home.
For more information, please see this website.
Please pass this invitation onto anyone else you think may be interested.
Many thanks, hope to see you there!

One exhibition, Hurdles Home is at Armley Mills Museum from Tuesday 15th to Thursday 17th June. The Arena in the Leeds City Museum from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th June.

Hurdles Home looks at issues faced by people seeking asylum in the UK and how these issues are addressed by some of the many organisations who work with them across Leeds. Ten organisations have taken part in this exhibition to highlight the transitional experiences of people seeking asylum, tracing their steps from arrival in Leeds through to their decision and its consequences.
Children and young people from Raynville Primary School and City of Leeds High School are working over the next few weeks with members of ten organisations, refugees and local artists to produce large pieces of artwork depicting the work of each organisation. These will all be displayed along with information about asylum in the UK as well as real facts about immigration and what asylum seekers are entitled to and what they are not.
This will be a unique and collaborative look at what the realities of seeking asylum in Leeds is like and how many organisations aim to make their transition into life in the UK as trauma-free as possible.
Another exhibition is at Swarthmore Education Centre from 14-20 June. It will feature works by refugee artists who have been given leave to remain in the UK and are now making their contribution to the UK through art. Siamak Foroutan, Mahsa Rahbari and Dereje Kebede are the artists who have come to the UK in difficult circumstances and the art that they produce tells a thousand stories.

Entry to all exhibitions is free of charge

Previous post:

Next post: