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5 November
21 November 2021

Making Space Safe: Nature, Journeys

Discover drawings and paintings by the Making Space Safe artist collective in their first group exhibition at the gallery.

The Making Space Safe artist collective present their first group exhibition at Modern Art Oxford. A series of drawings and paintings share stories of personal experiences, often represented through images found in nature. This exhibition features recent drawings and paintings by Touhida Akter, Che Yan, Bikiana, Souad Amine Khodja, Lubna Mahmoud, Ihsan, Mariam Latifi and Dilber Cacan.

Visitors do not need to book a ticket to visit this exhibition. If you are also visiting Anish Kapoor: Painting, you will need to book an exhibition ticket here.

Making Space Safe: Nature, Journeys is supported by the Arts Council’s National Lottery Project Grants and the Oxford City Council Culture Fund.

Banner image: Souad Amine Khodja, Untitled, 2021.

Making Space Safe workshops are led by associate artist Mary Chamberlain with asylum seekers and refugees in Oxford.

Meeting regularly in a private space at Modern Art Oxford, these sessions teach artistic skills and create a sense of social cohesion for the group that includes people from around the world, referred by local organisations Sanctuary Hosting and Refugee Resource

Mary Chamberlain has worked for many years as a creative practitioner specialising in working with drawing and painting with vulnerable groups and individuals using some of the therapeutic principles gained during her training.

The period of the coronavirus lockdown was the first time the group had not met in person since the project began back in 2016. In response to these unprecedented challenges, Chamberlain regularly posted art materials to participants to enable them to continue with their art making. During Refugee Week UK in June 2020, Modern Art Oxford celebrated its ongoing partnership with Refugee Resource and Sanctuary Hosting and the achievements of the Making Space Safe artists in the face of adversity.

As well as sharing the group’s art works and words, sessions were ran to explore the brief of ‘Imagine Oxford…’ Run in partnership with Refugee Resource’s Women’s Group to coincide with Refugee Week, the brief was discussed by the group privately online together, resulting in a series of art works responding to lockdown and focussing on the group’s interest in drawing nature. “Before this I had never drawn. I helped my children with colouring, but never drew. I would have liked to do more, in other life circumstances. I really liked the program as it helps you think and focus your mind on other things.” – Making Space Safe artist

The Making Space Safe art collective has been made possible through the Arts Council’s National Lottery Project Grants, an open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects. The fund supports thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations thanks to National Lottery investment.

Explore Nature, Journeys online with our virtual exhibition tour

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Making Space Safe: Nature, Journeys is supported by the Oxford City Council Culture Fund.