'Be Kind, For Everyone is Fighting a Battle You Know Nothing About' - Unknown
Since living in Manchester I have noticed a lot of homelessness around the city, I have found statistics that say upto 300 people will sleep rough in the streets of London every night! I would like to be able to do more than just base a project on the idea of homelessness but maybe this is a good place to start.
Photography By Steph Hargreaves
I have read about a lot of strange cases where the homeless are almost treated like criminals, for example in the US, David Usborne writes, "His face riven with lines forged by years on the streets, Gil reaches into the top pocket of his shirt and fishes out a wedge of grimy papers. These are the precious records of his life, documents the rest of us keep in a filing cabinet at home. Eventually he finds what he is looking for, a yellow slip that looks like a parking ticket.
That, as it happens, is about right, although Gil is not a man of many possessions and certainly not a car. He does, however, have size 13 shoes. In his hands is a police citation written a few weeks ago when an officer found him sitting on the kerb with his feet touching the road. “Feet in Roadway Disturbing Traffic,” it reads."
A new study in the US by the National Law Centre on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) Since 2011, says the report, there has been a 60 per cent rise in the laws banning camping in public, essentially ensuring that the homeless will be breaking the law even as they sleep.
I am interested in challenging the perception that the homeless are any different from the rest of us, when we pass someone in the street its sometimes difficult to remember that we are all the same, but these people are actually in real crisis.
Design-wise, I want to focus on the idea of creating a range of fabrics that could be used as blankets for the homeless as well as a range of more high end interior fabrics which could be sold with the idea of donating so much of the money made to charities that can make the difference.
I have also read things about cities trying to ignore and hide the numbers of homelessness for reputations sake and various other reasons, this is why I have started to think about the concept of a camouflage pattern involving litter and even some possessions of some homeless people around Manchester. Toying with the idea that what we see as rubbish could in fact be all a person has in this world. I think that a camouflage design and a contrasting camouflage design in bright colours would portray my ideas quite clearly. I don’t want to be insensitive or controversial in my ideas and what I want to explore the way Grayson Perry interacts with people and communities to create his large tapestries…