Art as social commentary: confronting homelessness head on

Artists exhibiting work in our Prize Exhibition tackle some of the preoccupations of life in Britain today.

Linda Nevill, recently elected to the RBSA as an Associate Member, often works social commentary into her art, and homelessness is a theme she finds herself returning to repeatedly….

‘Seeing homeless people sleeping in the streets of our cities is commonplace nowadays and it seems that often other people go about their business walking past, stepping around or over bodies sitting or lying on the pavement.

‘In these largely monochrome images I have used colour and composition to highlight the homeless so that you cannot so easily ignore them.’

Orange Umbrella – Etching/Aquatint

Linda Nevill, 'Orange Umbrella'

Linda Nevill, ‘Orange Umbrella’

This is an image of a homeless person lying at the side of the pavement and protected, to some extent by an umbrella.

You see only the backs of the legs of the people receding.  Only the orange of the umbrella catches your attention and the anonymous, homeless person is ignored.

Passing by – Etching/Aquatint

Linda Nevill, 'Passing By'

Linda Nevill, ‘Passing By’

An image of a homeless person in a sleeping bag stretched out on the pavement.  People are walking by in one direction and a bus is going in the other direction.

No notice is apparently taken of the commonplace occurrence of a person lying on the pavement.

Visit the Prize Exhibition Soon

These works are on show as part of the Prize Exhibition which runs until 23 June. The RBSA stages the show every year, providing an opportunity for some of the most sought-after artists to show their artwork alongside emerging new talent.

With a top prize of £1,000 competition is fierce! Artworks range across jewellery, ceramics, textiles, drawing, painting, and printmaking.

Many works are for sale.

Our Gallery staff will be happy to help you with any queries on your visit to the RBSA.

#artexhibition #Birminghamartgallery #ContemporaryBritishart #socialcommentaryinart

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