The Crisis Commision @ Somerset House

The Crisis Commision is an exhibition combining the works of celebrated artists with the works of the artistic homeless. I have been interested in the power of art to help those socially neglected for some time and the prospect of the Crisis Commsion exhibition has been exciting me since its announcemnet in January of this year.

For those of you who are unaware, Crisis is an organisation that aim to not only help the homeless through practical day to day intervention but work tirelessly to change our social infrastructure in order to eradicate homelessness as we know it forever. The great work of Crisis ranges from highlighting the issues of the homeless in the palace of Westminster (working to implement new policies and or to amend existing ones.

The exhibition currently on display at Somerset House, celebrates the talents of Homeless artists (Skylight artists), some of whom I have had the very great pleasure of working with in the past (The Going Places Project).  All the work within the exhibition is for sale – an auction of works by the prominent artists involved taking place at Christies, the work of the very talented Skylight artists will be auctioned throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Artists included in the exhibition include, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Sir Anthony Caro, Yinka Shonibare, Gillian Wearing, Jonathan Yeo, Bob & Roberta Smith, Nathan Coley and Nika Neelova.  As well as the very talented William James West (Bill, Birmingham), Thomas Herald, and Conleth Moran all Skylight Artists that I would like to give special congratulatory recognition to (other Skylight artists were involved in the exhibition from across the UK).

The Crisis Commission will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience major works from our greatest contemporary artists reacting to an issue that is sadly becoming ever more prominent in today’s society – homelessness. It is hugely exciting that artists of this calibre are right now making original works that will reflect on the exhibition’s themes of isolation, property, security and space. I can’t wait to install them in Somerset House for all to enjoy, but also to provoke thought on what it is like not to have a home.

– Laurence Sillars, Curator of the Crisis Commission and Chief Curator at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Somerset House/ Crisis Commission).