If you were homeless, where would you go for help? Frequently Asked Questions, a new exhibition by artist Anthony Luvera in collaboration with Gerald Mclaverty, in association with Museum of Homelessness uncovers the shocking and poignant challenge faced by those asking this one simple question.
The culmination of five years research, building on our collaboration at Tate Liverpool in 2018, Frequently Asked Questions has involved Gerald Mclaverty contacting local authorities across the UK to ask how he could access basic living provisions such as shelter, safety, healthcare, food, and communication.
Of 110 councils emailed in 2019, only ten provided answers to questions such as “where can I go for something to eat?”, “ where can I find shelter from when it is raining or snowing?” or “where can I sleep during the night that is safe?” 41 of the councils did not reply at all. With the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, Councils are now legally bound by new duties in relation to homeless individuals and these findings put their performance in relation to the Act under the microscope.
At the heart of Frequently Asked Questions is the enquiry into a homeless person’s rights, written from Gerald Mclaverty’s personal experience of homelessness, and requests for information about services provided in each jurisdiction.
Produced in association with Museum of Homelessness, the exhibition gives a picture of how services both help and hinder the estimated 320,000 people who are homeless in Britain, and offers an insight into the challenges and realities faced by the most marginalised individuals as they attempt to access systems of care.
Presented at the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, Bristol, from the 27th November to 12th December, 2019, Frequently Asked Questions combines art and policy to allow people to better understand just how their local authorities are treating fellow residents. Frequently Asked Questions will subsequently feature in an exhibition opening at The Gallery at Foyles, London, from the 13th January to 16th February.
The result is a striking wall installation and programme of public events, inviting audiences to contemplate and ask their own questions about the range of responses provided by the local authorities.
27th November to 12th December 2019
10:00am to 5:00pm dailyPeople’s Republic of Stokes Croft
14 Hillgrove St
Bristol BS2 8JT
As part of Frequently Asked Questions, a programme of public events will also be held, to generate discussions and creative responses that unpack the issues at stake in the work.
Featuring a performance from Rising Voices Recovery Choir
Tuesday 26th November, 6:00pm – 9:00pm at the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC) (14 Hillgrove St, Bristol BS2 8JT)Make Them Count
A confidential and safe space to ask questions about homeless deaths and remember people we have lost, hosted by Museum of Homelessness
Wednesday 27th November, 11:00am – 1:00pm at the PRSC
A Panel Discussion with The Bristol Cable
Thursday 28th November, 6:30pm – 8:00pm at the PRSC
Strata: A Visual Assembly for Homelessness
A Workshop with IC Visual Lab
Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December, 10:00am – 5:00pm at the PRSC
About Anthony Luvera:
Anthony Luvera is an Australian artist, writer and educator based in London. For over 15 years he has worked with people who have experienced homelessness in cities and towns across the United Kingdom, including Belfast, Brighton, Colchester, and in various boroughs across London. His work has been exhibited widely in galleries, public spaces, and festivals, including the British Museum, London Underground’s Art on the Underground, and the National Portrait Gallery. http://www.luvera.com/
Key Research Findings
Number of Councils contacted: 110
Number who did not reply: 41 Councils or 37%
Number who used autoreply: 35 Councils or 32%
Number engaged in signposting: 30 Councils or 27%
Number who answered questions: 10 Councils or 9%