The YOU BELONG HERE project (2017–18) 4ft x 4ft neon sign is the result of a collaborative participatory art endeavour by artist Asten Holmes-Elliott with Breakout Youth: Hampshire LGBTQI+ Support Charity, supported by John Hansard Gallery and Tate’s ARTIST ROOMS.
Asten worked with participants from Breakout Youth exploring themes of identity, community, and belonging with a specific focus on how it feels to experience the future as a young LGBTQI+ person, participants were encouraged to create a physical object to represent their findings. The first stage resulted in the ‘YOU BELONG HERE’ badge which encouraged people to pledge allyship to the LGBTQI+ community.
Continued development resulted in the ‘YOU BELONG HERE’ neon sign, which is now in our foyer. The sign is a beacon reminding us that those who find themselves at the margins belong here too, and it is the responsibility of us all to make space and ensure we all feel welcome.
The University of Southampton have chosen to use ‘YOU BELONG HERE’ as the main image for their new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.