Facing Forward

    FACING FORWARD

    Centrepoint Exhibition,

    Spitz Gallery, Spitalfields Market
    Ended

    Star Rating: 3/5

    The 35 photographs on display celebrated the homeless charity
    Centrepoint’s 35 years of providing services to London’s young
    homeless. Photographer Claudia Janke’s images are memorable partly
    because of clever composition, but also as a result of the subtle
    use of heightened colours, writes Mark Drinkwater.

    Most feature individuals in their hostel accommodation, and
    taken together the exhibition records the diversity of youth
    homelessness, including single parents, refugees, and
    ex-offenders.

    While the photographs seem a little staged at times (the hostel
    accommodation looks unfeasibly clean and tidy), they provide a
    snapshot of Centrepoint’s service users that present positive
    illustrations of young homeless people.

    In telling stories about young people’s lives, it often felt as
    if too much was told, because as well as the individuals’ images,
    we learned their names and even the location of their hostels
    (presumably with their permission).

    But while these images positively portray the independence of
    young homeless people and will have helped to raise awareness about
    homelessness, this exhibition consisted of photographs of young
    people rather than by them – which could perhaps be a consideration
    for future exhibitions.

    Mark Drinkwater is a community worker in
    Southwark.

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