A fundraising exhibition supporting the homeless charity Crisis, ‘Concrete edges for next 3 miles’ consists of 365 drawings that document Iona Frances Brown’s walking commute through the city to Crisis Skylight Newcastle, one for each day of her first year working there (March 2021 – February 2022). The project is a celebration of small things and a preservation of ephemeral encounters. These drawings capture colourful buildings around the city, some due for demolition. They preserve humorous, silly or meaningful graffiti before it is painted over, and archive a strange assortment of littered objects before they are cleaned up.
Brown was absorbed in the calming routine of daily drawing and the surprise of finding her subjects. The act of walking around the city and surrounding rural areas, chancing upon scenes that she found charming or beautiful, was as integral a part of the project as the actual act of drawing itself. She became as interested in transforming street photography into drawing as she was about being outside and enjoying what the day presented to her. Brown encourages people to search for some of the drawing locations themselves.
Brown realises that these corners and hidden paths of the city can often be frequent views for those who are rough sleeping, who will navigate and relate to these urban spaces in a different way to herself. Brown’s sense of the injustice of street homelessness and Crisis’ vision to end homelessness is why she is donating the sale of these drawings to Crisis Newcastle to help the people they support.
Iona Frances Brown was born in Whitley Bay in 1994 and studied Fine Art at Newcastle University. She now works with Crisis, the national charity for ending homelessness. For more information on Crisis Skylight Newcastle and the holistic services they offer please visit www.crisis.org.uk/get-help/newcastle
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