An exhibition of artwork by refugees and Jersey artists & residents at the Berni Gallery, Jersey Arts Centre from Monday 5th June, with a preview that evening from 5.30 to 7.00 pm. The exhibition continues until Saturday 1st July 2017, which will include Refugee Week (19th to the 25th June).

At the end of March this year, three Jersey artists Lizi Hill, Maria Tarrant and Ian Rolls, travelled to Camp Veria, a refugee camp in northern Greece. They worked with residents of all ages to make small artworks for the exhibition in Jersey, to raise awareness of the plight of refugees worldwide. The refugees worked on small 2D suitcase shapes, representing their desire to leave the transitory camp to make a permanent home somewhere. A small luggage label with the name of the individual and a message of hope was tied to the handle of each suitcase.

The Jersey artists & residents made artwork on small symbolic 2D houses, representing settled lives with their home at the heart. To go with each “home” a small sign carries a message and/or the name of the individual and the country of their birth, to give a sense of the diverse background of many Jersey residents.

Ian Rolls comments: “The project has been challenging in many ways, but it is a labour of love for Lizi, Maria & myself. As the Jersey artwork is submitted, there is a fascinating contrast emerging between the work of the refugees and the local community. When the exhibition is presented in the Berni gallery, I think it will tell a moving visual story of privilege and desperation, stability and frustrated hope, but with a positive message at it’s heart.” 

Film maker Aurélie Boas also travelled to Camp Veria with the three Jersey artists and her short documentary film about the project will be shown at the preview.

All the work in the exhibition will be for sale, with funds raised being divided between the Refugee Aid Agencies who have facilitated this project: JCRAG (Jersey Cares: Refugee Aid Group) and Bridge 2, a Guernsey based charity established by Sarah Griffith MBE, who with the help of volunteers, helps to run Camp Veria.

The Jersey Arts Trust funded travel and accommodation costs for the project in Greece and Highlands College supplied art materials that were donated to Camp Veria.