The Crisis Commission exhibition takes place in one of London's most prestigious venues, Somerset House, 14 March - 22 April 2012. A following auction of exhibited works will take place at Christie's on Thursday 3 May, with all proceeds going to Crisis, the UK's national charity for single homeless people.
Responding to themes and issues relating to homelessness - isolation, property, security, space - leading artists Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Jonathan Yeo, Gillian Wearing, Bob & Roberta Smith, Nika Neelova and Nathan Coley will all donate new works for the exhibition. Sir Anthony Caro will donate an existing work.
Shonibare's 'Crisis Man' stoops under the weight of a dozen antique suitcases in a gravity-defying pile. His head is a black, constellated globe displaying a quote from Dickens about a "bleak, dark and piercing cold" night where a "homeless starving wretch" might give up and die. "He is a Victorian aristocrat fallen on hard times," explains Shonibare. The intention is to rouse "empathy in those who have for those who do not... There is always a possibility your wealthy world could come crashing down at any time."
Homeless and vulnerably housed clients of Crisis will have their work exhibited alongside the established artists for the duration of the Crisis Commission. The clients will be drawn from Crisis' year-round art classes, held at Crisis' Skylight Centres in London, Newcastle, Birmingham, Merseyside and Oxford.