06 March 2008 - 22 March 2008

This was the second year that the Foundling Museum showed a selection of works submitted through the Flourish programme.  The exhibition celebrates the creative output of young people who have been in care; a showcase for young artists to express themselves and challenge preconceptions of the care system.

Flourish is not a competition but aims to encourage artists to partake in creative activities and challenge the mindset that prevents them from doing so.  All of the artists included in the exhibition have been cared for in some way; some are cared for by grandparents, some are residents of care homes, some have been young offenders and some have foster carers or are adopted.  The works displayed varied in subject matter and medium and the age of artists represented range from 6 to 26 years old.

The initiative started in 2006 as a one-off exhibition and has grown to incorporate a board of artists, including those involved in the first show to select pieces for this exhibition.  Flourish 2006 was the first national exhibition to include works by young people with such a diverse experience of care and has continued to champion their works and inspire creativity and emotional responses to the issues dealt with through these collections of works.  It is therefore fitting that the Foundling Museum was the venue for this exhibition, continuing in its tradition as the first public showcase for art in Britain, established to raise awareness of children in care through creative endeavour.

Image: Strictly Ballroom, 2007, Culture Vultures with artist Othello De'Souza-Hartley, photograph 80x120cm © The artist


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