An SHP client has been shortlisted in Café Art’s annual art competition – which aims to celebrate work by people who have experienced or are currently homeless.

A drawing by Wayne, a resident of our Lewisham accommodation service, was put in the top 20 (which can be found here) after being shortlisted by a panel of judges, winning a £50 consolation prize.

His shortlisted work was an incredibly detailed pencil portrait of Bob Marley - the Jamaican singer and songwriter and pioneer of reggae music – including his famous dreadlocks.

Café Art is a social enterprise which aims to empower former homeless people through art, celebrating their stories and work through exhibitions, an annual photo project and calendar, and hanging artwork up in their café space.

Meghan O’Malley, SHP’s creative arts programme lead, said: “We were overwhelmed by the response of our clients to enter work in this competition.”

“Overall, we entered pieces by over 15 clients, showcasing the differing and amazing talent on show across SHP, with each piece unique to that person.”

“Despite missing out on the top three winners, I’m delighted that Wayne’s piece was recognised for its artistry and talent.”

The top 20 finalists' art were exhibited at the Hampstead School of Art until 20 March.

A love of Portraits

Wayne, who was born in Croydon and grew up in the South London area, has drawn and painted a variety of work over the last few years. This has included painting in the local community including logos for local shops as well as drawing Disney and cartoon characters for nurseries and schools, and creating theatre production scenery.

However, he has a particular love of drawing portraits – aiming to not just represent a person’s likeness, but also their expression, personality and mood.

Wayne also entered an exquisite pen portrait of Christopher Walken, the famous American actor, who has appeared in classics such The Deer Hunter, Pulp Fiction, Annie Hall and Catch Me If You Can into the competition. 

Wayne said “I find portraiture a way of expressing myself. I particularly like to think about the person’s perspective; to think about what they are seeing through their eyes”.

“It’s my release and something I love doing.”

Wayne is often found designing street art on the pavements of Lewisham, using pastels, oil paints and charcoals to paint his work outside in the elements. You can check out his work here.

To find out more about art at SHP, check out our Arthouse Programme.