The Open Art Studio is a therapeutic space for refugees and asylum seekers.
The Open Art Studio is an art space in North London that has provided a therapeutic space for refugees and asylum seekers for nearly 10 years. Our clients have survived war, torture, trafficking and political violence. Working with the Helen Bamber Foundation, we provide a space where art making is used to overcome trauma.
Why we need your help
We face a funding shortfall that puts the future of The Open Art Studio at risk.
We need to raise £5,000 by 10 May to ensure we are able to continue our work.
The bulk of this money is needed to pay the rent of £80 a week, and the rest of this money will be spent on art materials and exhibitions for our artists.
The Open Art Studio has lived for nearly 10 years. WIth your help it can continue to give vital support to its members.
About the Open Art Studio
Our artists' experiences demonstate how art can help us to overcome even the worst acts of human cruelty. Making art gives our members a chance to move away from significant trauma and find hope for their future.
Our artists have been forced to leave their country of birth and are from Uganda, China, Turkey, Democratic Republic of Congo, Russia, Bangladesh, Iran and Afghanistan.
The Open Studio is run by two art psychotherapists who are highly experienced at working with trauma and the use of art as an aid to psychological recovery.
Our studio provides a warm, communal and stable environment to people whose lives continue to be fraught with struggle, fear and uncertainty. It's a lifeline for people who are socially isolated, traumatised and marginalised. Asylum seekers are living on £36 a week and are not allowed to work. It takes years for their Asylum claim to be processed. This can take up to ten years and leaves people in limbo unable to integrate.
Many of our members never made art before. The art made in our studio is extrodinary and sublime and reflects their extrodinary experiences. We give our members opportunity to exhibit and sell their art.
We don’t have much time to raise the money for this worthy cause, and if you would consider assisting us financially, we would be tremendously grateful.
How to donate
Please donate to us through our Just Giving Page. Thank you.
“ Painting for me is a release. Making things is a way for me to find answers to some of the experiences I have, or the ideas and things I think about. Sharing my past with others who have had similar experiences helps me to understand my traumas, and we can support each other in surviving. ” - Paul, Democratic Republic of Congo
Can you help us stay open?
“ When I paint pictures I can think about my experiences in Afghanistan, my journey to the UK and my experiences of being an asylum seeker; I can think differently. ” - Said, Afghanistan
What our members say...
“When I make pictures I forget my torture. I forget my problems...I started art therapy four years ago; that's helped me to come out of the whole darkness I was in. I was imprisoned in Iran for being active in the women's movement.” Anon.
The Colours of My Country
Below is a selection of our members' paintings. They are incredible, raw pieces which demonstrate the unique outlook and struggles faced by the artists. All work shown is with artists' permission.