Community Takeover 2020 City of Sanctuary

Community Takeover returns with a difference, reacting to 2020 and the events that have shaped the year that cannot be ignored. At the heart of the programme is our response to Southampton’s status as a City of Sanctuary — a perfect way to unite our community again after such turbulent times.

In partnership with Skate Southampton, we present Safe Spaces Soton. We have placed images by local photographer Luke Shears in community spaces across the city in Northam, St Mary’s and Guildhall Square, inviting people to imagine how they can change these “in between” spaces into social and safe places for all to enjoy.

Your Flags is inspired by artist Larry Achiampong, whose work PAN AFRICAN FLAGS FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS’ ALLIANCE (MOTION) can currently be seen on our windows looking out over Guildhall Square. Working with Schools of Sanctuary and families who took part in Space to Create!, Your Flags is a multi-coloured selection of hand-designed artwork by local children and adults. Southampton organisations including CLEAR Project’s refugee and asylum support, Yellow Door, and Northam Community Centre have been sharing this creative idea via our Art Bags circulated to young people and families during lockdown, so we are excited to see their artwork arrive. This feast of ideas will be shown on our gallery windows on Above Bar Street in October.

Continuing on with the theme of being a welcoming city, we are also re-showing the project 12/48 Countries. In 2018 as we moved into our new city centre home, we showed 48 Portraits by Gerhard Richter, a series of 48 black and white portrait photographs of white males of European and North American origins prominent in the fields of literature, science, philosophy and music born between 1824 and 1904. 12/48 Countries saw 12 University of Southampton students from 12 different countries responding to 48 Portraits, with the aim to increase interaction between students living and studying in Southampton.

Come explore, celebrate and join in!

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