End Youth Homelessness (EYH), a UK-wide movement of local charities, has teamed up with acclaimed artist and sculptor David Oliveira to place “invisible” sculptures of young people in high-profile locations around the UK. The campaign aims to encourage the public to make the invisible, visible by sharing #NOWYOUSEEME on social media, raising awareness of and supporting their local youth homelessness charity.
The sculptures were unveiled at the Design Museum on the 21st March, supported by the premiere of a film from the Ridley Scott Creative Group’s Black Dog Films, directed by Frankie Markot. The exhibition was open to the public from 22nd-24th March to coincide with the final weekend of the Design Museum’s Home Futures exhibition, which explores today’s home through the prism of yesterday’s imagination.
“I wanted to create three-dimensional sketches of hidden homeless young people by “drawing” semi-visible human figures in wire. Inspired by traditional drawing techniques, I used the wire as a line moving through three-dimensional space, to create outlines. I chose this design solution because of its ability to express vulnerability and invisibility; both of which are important themes for hidden homeless young people. I chose to work with wire because it’s urbane, malleable and strong. The empty spaces between the wire add an ethereal quality and communicate the fact that the body isn’t fully visible.”David Oliveira, Artist
Little is known about what happens to the 52% of young people who receive no documented support from their local council. It is this forgotten group that is often forced to ‘sofa-surf’; sleeping on the floors and sofas of friends or acquaintances. Once they exhaust goodwill they often resort to more desperate measures – sleeping on night buses, injuring themselves for a hospital bed, trying to find a ‘date’ for the night, or worse.
“Youth homelessness is overlooked and misunderstood. EYH’s Member charities do their best for young people every day but unless society as a whole share this responsibility too many of today’s homeless young people will become the rough sleepers of the future. The #NOWYOUSEEME campaign is a wonderful opportunity to remind ourselves of the inspiring capacity of young people to overcome the challenges they face if they receive the right support at the right time.”Nick Connolly, MD, End Youth Homelessness
Hidden homelessness puts young people at enormous risk, leaving them vulnerable to violence or abuse. In a 2016 report, 70% of young people said sofa surfing affected their mental health and 58% said it affected their physical health. Unsurprisingly, the hidden homeless of today often become the rough sleepers of tomorrow.
“Having spent a working life in Soho, I am critically aware of the plight of homeless young people, so I was inspired to try and help End Youth Homelessness’ important work nationally. A veritable box of Liquorice Allsorts of volunteers, Producers, Directors, Editors etc were assembled from the APA to create a think tank. Homeless young people feel overlooked, invisible. And so, the strategy distilled down to one word – ‘Invisibility’. The idea emerged to create ‘invisible’ sculptures. We’re delighted to be working with artist David Oliveira, whose wire figures not only describe ‘Invisibility’ but are arresting and provocative in their own right.” –John Hackney, Chairman, Advertising Producers Association
#NOWYOUSEEME was conceived by a collective of dedicated production and media experts from the UK’s biggest name production companies including The Mill, Black Dog Films,Prettybird and Iconoclast as well as leading industry editorial platform Little Black Book. All production companies working on the campaign are members of the Advertising Producers Association. The campaign is also supported by EYH corporate partner Eversheds Sutherland.
The sculptures at the heart of #NOWYOUSEEME mark the start of EYH’s 2019 strategy to shine a spotlight on hidden homelessness, with more collaborations planned throughout the year.
“As a strategic partner of both End Youth Homelessness and the Design Museum, we are proud to champion #NOWYOUSEEME – an innovative artistic campaign to raise awareness of the hidden homeless. The work of End Youth Homelessness is more important than it has ever been, and I am proud that by helping our community and brand partners to collaborate. Eversheds Sutherland can help create fresh dialogue and catalyse greater awareness and change.”Matthew Allen, London Senior Office Partner, Eversheds Sutherland
“With the support of Eversheds Sutherland, we are delighted to collaborate with End Youth Homelessness on this important campaign. With our exhibition Home Futures, our display with Peter Barber ‘100 Mile City and Other Stories’ and our Designers in Residence showcase which gave four young designers the opportunity to explore the theme of ‘Dwelling’, over the last few months we have been focusing on the theme of home and design responses to it. In that context, it makes so much sense to us as a museum to shine a light on the important issue of homelessness and work with our partners on staging this event.”Alice Black,Co Director, the Design Museum