Facing Forward


Centrepoint Exhibition,

Spitz Gallery, Spitalfields Market

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

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

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