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New exhibition highlighting Derby’s homeless crisis and the decline of traditional British pubs launches at Artcore.

An exhibition highlighting both Derby’s homeless crisis and the decline of traditional British pubs has been launched by city charity, Artcore.

Derby artist, Jess Price and Katharina Fitz, an art student from Nottingham, showcase their work at the Charnwood Street gallery until Sunday, August 19.

The Re-Imagine the City exhibition explores important issues that shape Derby, including homelessness and losing pubs which close off community focal points.

The students won the two-month artist-in-residency programme after a campaign to find local talent across the East Midlands.

Artcore founders, Ruchita Shaikh and her husband, Zahir, said the selection process was tough and many budding artists applied.

“We’re delighted to celebrate the talents of these two artists,” said Ruchita.

“They have brought so much to our exhibition space here at Artcore and it is truly wonderful to support new talents and recognise their work. We love having their art in our gallery space.”

In the exhibition, Jess, who just graduated from the University of Derby, uses locally-sourced statistics on homelessness to create her eye-catching and thought-provoking installation.

She said: “I researched how many people are homeless in Derby, how many people accessed the Derby Night Shelter project last year and of those, how many moved their lives forward in a positive way afterwards.

“With these facts and figures, I used bricks and pieces of thread to map out my findings and highlight the growing issue of homelessness.”

Alongside Jess’s art, Katharina worked with a metal beer keg and produced a delicate terracotta cast to highlight the disappearance of traditional British pubs – which were once unique social hubs and places of character.

Katharina, a student at Nottingham Trent University, said:

“I worked with a real beer keg and took a cast of it. What interested me, was that this beer keg once formed an integral part of the British pub industry. It probably moved around the area, transporting beer or ale to local pubs.

“Once, traditional pubs were social hubs, a place to make friends and build relationships with communities. They were so much more than a place to buy a drink. I looked into how important traditional pubs used to be and tried to highlight just what an important part they played in a city like Derby.”

Both artists worked round the clock to bring their installations to life and hundreds of people are expected to visit the exhibition.

Jess, 20, said

“I feel really proud. Opening night was just fantastic. The gallery was busy and I loved the chance to showcase my work.

“It’s an exciting time for me and I can’t thank Artcore enough for giving me this chance.”                      

The Artcore exhibition, Re-Imagine the City, runs until August 19, and is open from Monday to Friday, 9.30am until 4.30pm. The Artcore gallery is at 3 Charnwood Street in Derby.

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