This Stuff Matters at St Martin-in-the-Fields
There is a hidden history of homelessness in the UK that shines a light on today’s crisis. This is a history that shows us what has happened on the streets, in hostels, in politics and in people’s lives over the last 70 years. From June 20th 2019 to September 2nd 2019, we shared an exhibition created by people who are, or who have been homeless. Working over four weeks at the Connection at St Martin’s in April and May 2019, we have created This Stuff Matters.
Supported by artist Chloe Osborne, this capsule exhibition took the largely hidden history of homelessness in the UK as it’s starting point. Our curators selected 13 items from our archive to share with the public. These include placards made to protest the recent housing crisis, obscure archival records that highlight long lost social agitators and campaigning material from the past as well as today.
Rather than a typical exhibition or a timeline of homelessness history, we presented an experience from the heart; a series of glimpses into what has gone before and what is happening today. Labels and documentary evidence within the show was written by people who either are or have been homeless.
History is something we pay close attention to at the Museum of Homelessness, yet all too often in the debates about homelessness and housing, it is forgotten. The lessons that history could teach us are not being learned. In 2018 Shelter estimated that at least 320,000 families were homeless and research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism tells us that between October 2017 and March 2019, 800 people have died whilst homeless, many in tragic and avoidable circumstances.
This Stuff Matters was an exhibition about learning from history, and about the questions that matter about homelessness today.
Visiting the Exhibition
This Stuff Matters is now closed and it ran until 2nd September 2019. It was held in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-Fields next to the box office and the shop space.
With thanks to
Our team of curators who put the exhibition together.
This Stuff Matters was curated by:
Anabel Claro, Bullring Bash, Chloe Osborne, Chris Holland, Dennis Goffe, Evgeny Gribov, Frederick Heymann, Gary Birdsall, Himalaya (Purnima Singh), Jess Turtle, Lainie, Luca Vasile, Lyubomir Dimov, Mark Stuart-Smith, Matt Turtle, Sheryle Thomas, Zygmunt Glownia
The exhibition would also not have been possible without the support of St Martin-in-the-Fields and Turning Point who have funded the project, and our partners at the Connection at St-Martin-in-the-Fields.
Find out more about our last This Stuff Matters project at Islington Library.