Dalston community art collective Young+Idle tackle social issues

Show of Hands, Young+Idle

Show of Hands, Young+Idle - Credit: Archant

The second Show of Hands event highlights issues surrounding migration, with a focus on the facts and figures at a local level

A community art project is hoping to raise funds and awareness for social issues.

YOUNG+IDLE is a collective of young artists who engage with humanitarian causes through a series of events that highlight a different issue each time.

Based in Hackney, their project, Show of Hands, encourages the local community to utilise art as a tool for change.

“We feel it’s important for art to be something people actively engage with, not a passive thing which washes over us,” says founder Matt Bateman.

“In an age of rock stars ranting on stage about the need to ‘do something’, we’re inviting people to be part of a movement that spreads information, offers new perspectives and creates change, in a very direct way, through art.”

Before each event, a select group of local artists is given a brief to produce a work in the medium of their choice on a particular issue. During the exhibition evening, viewers will have the chance to learn about the issue and vote for their favourite piece. From the winning votes, one name is picked and they win the artwork to take home.

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Their first event showcased 10 artists’ work on the theme of youth homelessness, where they raised over £520 for Hackney Winter Night Shelter, who provide a hot meal and warm bed for homeless people who would otherwise be on the streets during the coldest months of the year.

The upcoming event on June 7 is based on the theme of migration.

“This event focuses on migration, the biggest challenge, from a human rights point of view, of our lifetime,” says Bateman. “Local artists have taken the challenge to make a piece of art that explores the theme, looking at facts and figures on both a local level in Hackney and a global scale.

“The exhibition takes place on the eve of the General Election, with Brexit and migration a key issue in election campaigns. We felt it was more important a time than ever to shine a light on the issue and discuss openly the scale of the issue, the causes, the effects and how the burden is shared.”

Show of Hands takes place at The Victoria in Dalston on June 7, £5: youngandidle.com/show-of-hands