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Updated: Dec 23, 2023

Art Refuge with Young Roots, Kings Cross, 19.12.23

Art Refuge is delighted to have been partnering with @weareyoungroots throughout this Autumn and start of Winter. Our work takes the form of a weekly arts-based psychosocial group to support young people accessing a youth club while housed in Home Office contingency hotels/hostels in the Kings Cross area.

This week, despite the rain and cold weather there were more young people present than in the previous two weeks, helped by the promise of festive food but also perhaps by a need for connection in light of the imminent short break over the holiday period.

We brought Brusho at the start of the group today - small, inert-looking pots of powder which, when brought into contact with water, burst into intense jewel-like colours. One young woman tentatively used these to make a careful painting of horizontal stripes. A spark of excitement was shared as together we watched the colours merge and flow on the paper. This spark grew as she continued painting pages of radiating luminous circular orbs which remained on The Community Table throughout the afternoon.

Interactions and games developed, individual focus giving way to collaborative constructions using the building blocks, group Jenga and group drawings. One ‘game’ involved flipping through a book of World symbols to chance upon an image, followed by a quick drawing of that image onto a collective artwork. All of which evoked a sense of spontaneity, chance, collaboration and playfulness.

In this week’s session we discussed the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. We talked about darkness and cold, and also about this being the time when the re-ascent of the sun begins and light starts to return.

Words by Katie Miller & Thomas Etheridge.

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