Cafe Art had a special visitor today when we met Clare Caldwell from Auckland, New Zealand. Clare is a New Zealand artist who walked into Auckland City Mission last year and offered to run an art group for people affected by homelessness. She was soon noticed for the work she does, and recently featured on New Zealand television in a regular segment called Good Sorts. Clare runs the group every Tuesday. She explained how many of the artists had never painted before and that the experience was very positive for them. After running the group for several months they decided to hold an exhibition. She says that it was empowering for everyone involved - not only did they exhibit paintings, but carvings and sculptures were on display in an art gallery in Devonport, Auckland. New Zealand has a housing crisis and Auckland is particularly hard hit, with homelessness reaching numbers that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Clare's daughter Sarah lives in London and has been volunteering for Cafe Art since the beginning of this year, helping mainly with the MyLondon photography project.
A visitor from Auckland