The exhibition is part of an art project supported by Eden District Council Arts and Culture Development Fund, and is run as a collaboration by Penrith and Eden Refugee Network (PERN) and BlueJam Arts CIC. Claudi Hayward, PERN’s Community Outreach Officer, says ‘Some of the paintings are full of history, pain, resilience, and hope. Without words, this event is for people to tell the stories behind the artwork, and connect them with their roots.’
Simon Zeweldi, who lived in Carlisle while his application for asylum was processed, painted a moving image, which he gave to PERN. This image will be on display during the exhibition. Simon has now been granted refugee status and said of his painting: “When I was crossing the channel in a small boat I thought I was going to drown but I was rescued by a lifeboat. When I came to Carlisle, PERN and the volunteers felt like my lifeboat and helped me to feel safe.”
The Penrith Welcomes Diversity art project has been running at BlueJam now for six months. Jilly Jarman, BlueJam’s Creative Director, said “We are glad to be opening our doors to offer a safe space where people can paint together.”
There is a further opportunities for more budding artists to get creative. On the morning of Saturday 14th October, we are holding a free taster painting session for families from 10.30am till 12 noon at BlueJam Arts Space. In the afternoon, all are welcome to the special exhibition opening from 1-4pm at Gallery 4a. Also, on Wednesday 18th October, Yuliia will be running a Cards of Hope Art Workshop at BlueJam to make cards that can be displayed at the exhibition. All are welcome to attend.
EVAN Gallery 4a is in Penrith. You can find it at 4 Corney Pl, Penrith CA11 7PX. We hope to see you there!