Charity Chief Executive David Coombe explains. “Four years ago, I was introduced to a man (David Hardy) who was just about to be made homeless and I had hoped to be able to provide accommodation. Unfortunately the local council prevented that from happening. It didn’t however; prevent a friendship developing between us. When David was being evicted, through no fault of his own I would add, I was made aware that he was an artist, a very talented one too. David asked me to dispose of all his art or sell it for the charity. I fortunately recognised that David was in dark place and would probably live to regret that statement. Accordingly, I stored his work for him. Soon after, David started volunteering with Street Souls and is ever present on our distribution evenings in Westminster. Through contacts we have at Lloyd’s of London, David was entered in the annual Lloyd’s art exhibition and won best newcomer he subsequently won the people’s choice award two years later and has sold the exhibited work in each of the three years he has now exhibited. Things are very much on the up for David and I hope that this will prove to be the case for some others too. He is very much the catalyst for the gallery. My Father, who started the charity in 1957 and is chairman of the Trust, suffered a couple of strokes last year and in discussion with him whilst hospitalised he suggested the art gallery, which he kindly agreed to fund the set-up and first year.”
We are speaking to and sourcing homeless, ex-homeless and/or vulnerable artists to display their works at the gallery. Due to the often chaotic existence these people endure, it takes time to arrange this; we have several who will be exhibiting soon.
All exhibiting artists support us by donating a minimum of 25% of any sale (some donate considerably more) 100% in some instances.
We will feature unknown artists and established artists all of whom offer something a little bit special!