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27th Jun, 2022

Stratford artist aims to reveal truths of rising child poverty

AN ARTIST from Stratford aims to reveal the hidden truths behind child poverty through his latest project.

Robert Williams, a children’s nurse-turned artist, has created a series of artwork to highlight the reasons for, and consequences of, families facing hardship – something he says is rarely explored by the media.

He said: “Often, in some national popular media, poor families and children are depicted as failing or irresponsible when, in fact, to deal with poverty, most families have to be resilient, brave and resourceful. In work poverty – when parents are carers are working but do not earn much – is the case for most kids in poverty – and is escalating now.

“Having worked in the NHS for 20 years, and then researched for 17 years, I have found the consequences of poverty to be disturbing. Higher risks of illness, mortality and reduced life expectancy are terrible consequences as are the many hardships that families experience. Children also often feel responsible or guilty or sad or insecure.”

Robert’s project includes over 50 images which aim to fairly represent children and their families.

He added: “This includes an image entitled ‘feeling responsible’ and another entitled ‘sadness’, to reflect hardships, but mainly positive images about love, families, affection, resilience and courage.

“I have used a lot of silhouettes as this is a way of representing people who may be forgotten or ignored. Also, by painting, using collage and printmaking I have attempted to show both the stresses of life but also the beauty and achievements of children.”

Money raised from the sale of Robert’s art will go towards the UK-wide charity Child Poverty Action Group.

Visit robertwilliamsart.co.uk to view Robert’s artwork.

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