Artists shine for world refugee day as they unveil latest artwork at local museum
A group of budding artists showcased their work during Refugee week at an exhibition held at the Leeds City Museum.
The exhibition, under the banner Picture my World, a youth project that began in November 2018 in partnership with Leeds City College and Leeds City Museum, was delivered by refugee youth organisation, My Bright Kite CIC and funded by Leeds Inspired and law firm, Hill Dickinson.
13 young artists, who are originally from countries that include Senegal, Iraq, Latvia, Syria and Ethiopia, took part in the project which culminated in a celebration of their work.
The collective participated in weekly field trips and studio art sessions to develop their ideas around things that are important to them. It also provided an opportunity for them to explore their creativity and gain confidence and personal growth.
Their final pieces, which were exhibited last month, revealed a variety of rich cultural traditions and personal stories.
Picture my World has been established to introduce art as a tool for relaxation and positive self-expression and has continued to encourage young people to find their inner voice.
Ousamane, 22, one of the artists who exhibited his work, said that he felt privileged to have been given the chance to exhibit his work.
The artist, who was born in Guinea, painted a canvas that depicted global-warming and the impact it has on the environment.
“I am concerned about the way we are destroying the world and through my art piece, I wanted to raise awareness of the effects of global-warming.”
Ousamane has been involved with My Bright Kite for several months and has recently got a job as a researcher with Migration Yorkshire.
“I am excited about the new job and hope I will make a difference. I want to continue my studies and one day, hope to become the president of Guinea, to change the political situation there.”
Hill Dickinson’s Chris Hardy said: “It was a pleasure to spend an evening with young people from all over the world from the Picture My World group, including the organisers, Nola and Leonie.
“It was great to see the young people's beautiful artwork, which they, not only created, but also installed themselves at Leeds City Museum. Moreover, it was great to get to know more about them and their ambitions over a celebration meal.”
“It was an apt reminder on World Refugee Day that grassroots projects like those, run by My Bright Kite, have a huge impact on young people's lives and Hill Dickinson is delighted to have been able to support the project and we're all looking forward to working with My Bright Kite in future,” he added.
My Bright Kite CIC is a specialist not-for-profit organisation working to improve the wellbeing and inclusion of young refugees through a range of professional services and bespoke youth projects. The team work primarily to support children and young people from asylum seeking and refugee backgrounds living in West Yorkshire.
The artists also exhibited their work as part of The Picture My World collective mid-July at the official launch of the Leeds City Museum Migration Project, which celebrated three centuries of Migration to Leeds.