‘Living Shadows’ art project shines a light on homelessness in West Yorkshire

Living Shadows: The project raises awareness about the struggles of homeless people in the area.
Living Shadows: The project raises awareness about the struggles of homeless people in the area.

A NEW art performance project is shining a light on Homelessness in West Yorkshire.

Rees Dance, working in collaboration with Brighouse-based group Focus4Hope, has launched Living Shadows – a project that aims to raise awareness about the struggles of being homeless.

This work, funded by Arts Council England, was performed across various high traffic pedestrian areas in Leeds City Centre and Calderdale in late December, ending with a final performance at Dortmund Square as a part of Focus4Hope’s fortnightly ‘Help the Homeless’ event.

Focus4Hope offered resources through the development process, including artwork created by the homeless and opportunities to conduct interviews with them.

Living Shadows is a collaborative project spearheaded by choreographer and creative director of Rees Dance: Gavin Rees, an accomplished professional dancer and rehearsal director.

He has worked extensively throughout the UK and Europe with many ballet, contemporary, and physical theatre companies.

Rees Dance is working with Focus4Hope which works with the most vulnerable groups, including the homeless.

Mr Rees said: “In the process of research and development we wanted to explore the themes of displacement and disenfranchisement. Anyone, from any walk of life, can find themselves homeless.”

Louise Reed, founder of Focus4Hope, said: “It’s great to be able to see the stories of the people we work with come to life in such a creative way.

“We hope that when people see the project it will inspire them to recognise how important it is to support the individuals in our community who need it most.”