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Tears of Joy is an exhibition of artworks created by young asylum seekers and refugees from across the Chichester District, presented at Chichester Cathedral from 14th 21st June to mark Refugee Week 2021. Developed by Article 12 Arts in collaboration with Sanctuary in Chichester, the exhibition aims to provide the young artists with an opportunity to creatively express themselves, develop artistic skills and to voice their experiences. The artworks will also help draw attention to the plight of these young refugees, providing insight into what brings each of them joy.
Founders of Article 12 Arts, Caroline Sharman-Mendoza and Kate Viner, said: "Addressing cultural barriers, celebrating the diversity of our communities and improving community integration are the main aims of this project. Article 12 Arts use creative expression to help young refugees feel they have something of value to contribute to their new communities, empower them to communicate the wisdom and knowledge gained through their experiences to benefit the community and enhance mutual respect and understanding."
Gemma Driver, Sanctuary in Chichester, said: "I know that being a part of Article 12 Arts has meant a lot to some of the young people we support, especially during the isolation of lockdowns. It is wonderful that they now have this opportunity to exhibit their work in the incredible surroundings of the Chichester Cathedral, and that we can all enjoy their colourful, joyous creations."
The young artists said:
"After a massive mess I have painted this - I cared about the message more than the detail."
"Thank so much for all of you."
"When you are drawing you feel happy."
As part of the exhibition, Article 12 Arts will be holding two textiles masterclass workshops on Saturday 19th June, provided by leading fashion designer Rene Macdonald and costume designer/textile artist Caroline Pitcher. There are limited places available to the public, and profits from ticket sales will feed back into the work of Article 12 Arts. To book your space, visit: https://www.yapart.co.uk