Following the successful ‘Hidden Talents of the Homeless’ Art Exhibition at the Ucheldre Art Centre, Holyhead earlier this year, Deputy First Minister and Anglesey AM Ieuan Wyn Jones, invited the exhibition organisers, Digartref Ynys Môn, to stage part of the exhibition at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay.
The Holyhead exhibition followed a series of art classes at the Lighthouse Day Centre, Holyhead. To begin with these classes were funded by the Anglesey Community Safety Partnership, the classes aim to help people who feel excluded from society to find their niche. The classes and the Senedd exhibition, are now part funded by Arts Council of Wales, and it’s hoped that the remaining funding will be granted by the Anglesey County Council’s ‘Grants to Voluntary Organisations’.
Artist Jackie Myrtle, who teaches the sessions, said “We first organised the lessons as a 2 hour session once a week to help people forget their problems and do something creative. I never expected that the standard produced would be good enough to be exhibited in public.”
Also included in the exhibition was work created by young people supported by Digartref Ynys Môn. This art work came out of a Creative Arts initiative led by Ynys Môn Mind. Over four weeks, young people from Digartref Ynys Môn together with the artist Jacqui Myrtle and Clare Bailey of Ynys Môn Mind produced these two pieces of artwork. They are a part of Ynys Môn’s Mind’s wider anti-stigma work.
The Ucheldre exhibition was the first in a series of events to mark the 10th Anniversary of Digartref Ynys Môn, which is a supported housing agency providing housing and support to homeless people on the island of Anglesey.
In launching the mini-exhibition at the Senedd, Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said:
“I am delighted to welcome this display of community art work to the National Assembly which has given people the opportunity to display their talents, perhaps for the first time. I am also pleased to welcome some of the artists here today, together with their tutor Jacquie Myrtle and support staff from Digartref Ynys Môn.”
In responding to the Deputy First Minister, Councillor John Chorlton, Mayor of Holyhead, and Vice-Chair of Digartref Ynys Môn, said:
“Digartref Ynys Môn was very pleased to be able to respond positively to the Deputy First Ministers’ invitation. The Community Art Exhibition at the Ucheldre was one of the best attended exhibitions to be staged there for a long time.”
He added, “In addition to giving a ‘shop-window’ to local artists, the Exhibition was a contribution to the Poverty and Homelessness Action Week in February of this year. It was also the first of a series of events to mark ten years of excellent work in the field of supported housing and homelessness prevention on Anglesey by the Digartref Ynys Môn agency.”