Resident Artwork – Creative Resilience in Young People

At the beginning of this year, Support Worker Ellen organised an art contest which sought to provide a platform for young individuals at risk of homelessness to share their journeys through the transformative power of creativity.

We invited young people residing with YMCA Brunel Group to submit artworks that captured their experiences of the past year. From facing personal struggles to achieving triumphs, each artwork showcased the inner strength and resilience of every individual.

The diversity of artwork submitted offered a unique window into the lives of our residents, showcasing moments of vulnerability, courage, and hope.

Among the submissions, one piece stood out for its poignant portrayal of a journey through darkness into light. Titled “Shadows Past,” the artwork depicted a path weaving through two worlds: one of suffering and one of happiness. Through symbolic imagery such as spiked mountains representing challenges and cherry blossoms symbolizing renewal, Nathan’s piece encapsulated the complexities of his year-long journey with striking clarity.

At YMCA Brunel Group, we aim to create a nurturing environment where individuals are encouraged to explore their passions, unleash their creativity, and reclaim their sense of agency. Art is just one of the many avenues in which this can be achieved. We hope that we can provide opportunities for young people to learn new skills, grow their interests and truly thrive.

Tell us a bit about your artwork: My artwork represents a path through two worlds, suffering and happiness. Shadows represent the unknown or hidden aspects of ourselves or situations.

How does your art portray your year?

Spiked mountains – challenges
Lava – destruction and chaos
Hands – holding back potential
Shadows – the darker side of human nature
Mountains – firm and still
A home – comfort and security
The butterfly – transformation
Nature – growth
Mushrooms – the ability to emerge from darkness and decay
Space and stars – the chaos of the universe
Cherry blossom – Sakkara tree – renewal and optimism

Nathan also has an Instagram art account (@lupine_creations) where he designs shoes, makes jewellery, wallets, canvas and stickers.