Glasgow, Scotland 2023
17 to 28 June 2023, 10-6
Articulate Hub, 3rd Floor
249 West George St, Glasgow, G2 4QE
We are delighted to share images from a beautiful exhibition of art by young people from a refugee background in Scotland, Finland and Norway based on a research project on wellbeing.
The artwork was created during workshops over the past three years supported with expertise from Art Refuge who also helped deliver the Glasgow workshops.
‘The exhibition shows their memories of wellness in childhood, in their everyday lives now, and in their imaginations about their future. The exhibition is called ‘Drawing Together’. For us, this has two meanings. One refers to bringing people together to share life’s colours through the creation of art. The other shows how people get closer to each other over time by using their humour and hard work, and by understanding each other’s pressures, joys and sadness.
Through a series of original artwork, photography and films, our exhibition is a testament to the ways young refugees add to a nation’s diversity, health and its wealth. The exhibition tells their stories of hope as safety, hope as belonging, and hope as success. Sister exhibitions are being held in Turku, Finland and Bergen, Norway.
This is an exhibition about the word ‘yes’. It is an exhibition of how this word lives its life in a turbulent world.
An easy word to say, and a hard word to do. The life of ‘yes’ is complex. Its territory is full of heat and light.
But here it is shown, from the hands of young artists, from their eyes, from their spoken words. It is a ‘yes’ from their hearts.
And it echoes in the people and places in Scotland sometimes in powerful ways.
Remember those who said ‘yes’ to you in a way that made you feel full? Those are our moments of breathing life into life. And we practice this breathing day to day. Peace takes practice. Happiness takes practice. In the voices and writings of the young people you will see this.
At a time of drownings and deportations, and ‘no’ being a common word, we have to make sure that we endure. Our job, particularly those of us who have battled the word ‘no’ related to refugees, is to make ‘yes’ outlive the no. We are here. We know how to endure. As we have always done, we need to make sure that ‘yes’ lives a long and colourful life.
As the poet ee cummings once said:
yes is a world & in this world of yes live (skilfully curled) all worlds
Enjoy the exhibition. Come back again and again. Bring family and friends. Don’t bring pets. Bring the people who say ‘maybe’. Move them to the ‘yes’. Be part of the story.’ Words by Ravi Kohli, research project lead.
Please take time to visit if your are in Glasgow. There are also powerful films of testimonies from both foster carers and the young people in their care. A beautiful start to Refugee Week.