Welcome to New Art Studio, a unique therapeutic art studio in London for asylum seekers and refugees. We provide a safe space to the some of the most dispossessed members of our society.
Our asylum seeker and refugee members have lost so much: having fled their homes in terror, they now face the punitive and punishing process of claiming asylum. This can take up to ten years, during which they are prohibited from working and are given the bare minimum of financial aid. New Art Studio works to give relief from the effects of profound trauma during this ‘limbo state’. Violence shatters one’s sense of self and one’s trust in others; when we have nothing, imagination is our only true place of freedom and autonomy. Making art can be a profound way of connecting with others and with one’s own experiences, enabling our members to express that which cannot be put into words and relate to each other in the process.
New Art Studio directly addresses the complex needs of our members by providing a therapeutic and social environment in which members feel safe. We are aware that each member’s needs are specific and multifaceted – recovery is not an easy path – which is why we take a responsive, adaptive approach to helping every individual. Additionally, members typically attend the studio for extended periods of time to fully address their needs and offer longterm support. The weekly nature of the studio creates routine and stability in lives otherwise governed by uncertainty. By reimbursing travel costs and providing all art materials and refreshments, we ensure that the most vulnerable from across London are able to access the service.
As well as providing art therapy, we also currently offer English classes and holistic yoga workshops to our members. We also hold annual exhibitions of members’ artwork and try to engage with the general public to increase awareness of refugee experiences. We are always looking to form new partnerships with other arts and refugee organisations, so do get in touch if you would like to collaborate!