Past Exhibition

  • Helen Morley with Oaktrees Recovery Centre - Looking for Grace

    Monday 2 November 2015 to Thursday 12 November 2015
    • ‘Looking for Grace’ is a group exhibition of expressive work made by local people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, led by artist Helen Morley. The Oaktrees Recovery Centre is run by the charity Lifeline, who work with individuals, families and communities both to prevent and reduce harm, to promote recovery, and to challenge the inequalities linked to alcohol and drug misuse. This six month project was funded by the Arts Council, and this exhibition is a collection of the work made by the group during a series of workshops, along with a collection of large oil paintings made by Helen. The workshops introduced people to new materials and ways of making that liberated expression by bypassing the ‘right or wrong’ issues of representation.

      The workshop participants are mostly people who haven’t attempted any creativity since leaving school, and who are striving to make fundamental life changes based on a spiritual 12 step programme. In recovery, we are seeking the Grace to move from a catastrophic rock bottom, to a life of happy and creative usefulness; and these works capture something of our first attempts to realise this new way of life. We have experienced the depths of brokenness and powerlessness, which at the time seems to be the ultimate dead end. Yet, Grace can only enter in where there is a need; and when Grace is accepted, a life can be utterly transformed. We hope this work evidences a little something of the hope and potential that is evident in a person when they choose to move from powerlessness, towards power.