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05 July 2013

New art and community fusion project opens

New art and community fusion project opens

by Eleanor Ward

Husk, a new gallery and project space set up by artists for artists, has just recently opened in the East End of London. It aims to engage with diverse and vibrant ideas in contemporary art and wider culture, as well as bringing together a broad community of artists and be a place where their art is valued.

Husk has been set up in collaboration with Morphē Arts and Departure, which is in London City Mission's cafe and arts centre in Limehouse.

London City Mission, established in 1835, exists to share the transforming love and care of God in Jesus Christ with the people of London, and to enable them to join his Church.

The staff and many volunteers of the project go to the people of London through community ministries, chaplaincy ministries, ministries to immigrants and ethnic minorities, ministries to prisons, homeless and street people, and through visiting hospitals and care homes.

Husk sits within Departure, in what was the Old Danish Seaman's Mission chapel. Departure is a community arts cafe based in Limehouse, London. It is known to be a place to relax, work, be creative and perhaps meet others. The cafe provides homemade food, excellent coffees at reasonable prices and drawing, painting, poetry, and English language classes. It is therefore quite a popular coffee shop to meet at in London. Departure is run by London City Mission.

Also linked in with Husk is Morphē Arts, which is a network of artists, writers, designers and performers. They offer free mentoring for recent art graduates and host monthly arts events in London and also Scotland. In the past, they have had many successful art projects such as, 'Strike Against Art', 'New Creation Celebration' and 'Nomas Project'.

The exhibition now on at Husk is entitled 'Monochrome' and will be on display until 27 July. The brief was that each artist was invited to make a new work in a limited colour palette, and it will feature pieces from Ann-Marie James, Karen David and Departure's own Artist in Residence, Alastair John Gordon.

Husk's first exhibition was entitled 'Remember Paradise' and was a big success with more than 130 people having visited Husk on its opening night. Each of the three artists contributed pieces about their human longing for paradise and why we all dream after a better reality. One of the artists there said: "I feel I have a new home from home."

Alastair, the curator and founder of Husk, commented: "Whether we realise it or not, art plays a big part in our lives. Humans are inherently creative and our art can function in several ways. It can be a window, like looking through a frame to see something of the way in which the artist sees the world or an idea. Sometimes it's like a mirror, reflecting your own ideas about the world, culture or morality back at you. It can also provide an excellent point of contact with people as it creates conversations about philosophy, emotions and theology."