Nearly 2000 people visited ‘Where from? Where now?’ exhibition

Nearly two thousand people came to see the ‘Where from? Where now?’ exhibition, which ran for five days from 14-18 November, 2012, at the gallery@oxo on London’s South Bank.

Through photography, print, audio and film the exhibition told the stories of 15 of the women I met whilst working on this project. Through their individual stories, and the insights of the people who support them, the exhibition explored the reasons behind women’s homelessness.

Exhibition: gallery@oxo
(Photos by: Henrik Andersen, Connie Taylor & Georgina Cranston)

Women’s Stories

The words and recorded voices of the women themselves have formed an integral part of this project. So, when curating the exhibition we wanted to give the women’s stories as much space as possible, as so often interviews can be cut down into sound bites and play to stereotypes.  Detailed personal stories accompanied the photographs for 14 of the women.

The stories, told in the women’s own words, and the accompanying audio and photography gave visitors the opportunity to really appreciate the difficult and complex issues faced by these women, as well as helping to challenge their perceptions of women’s homelessness.  Something my photographs alone could not do. It was really uplifting to see visitors to the exhibition taking so much time to read each story in full.

To read these stories, listen to the audio and see the photographs please visit: Women’s Stories.


‘Be Myself’ was shown for the first time at this exhibition.

Over the eight months I spent documenting the lives of homeless women in London, I came to understand that, for many, the chaos and trauma of homelessness is a symptom of much deeper problems, and almost always of lives shattered in childhood through abuse and neglect.

Few women who have experienced such traumatic childhoods are ready or even want to tell their stories. It’s just too personal, too painful. Lucy was different.  Through the process of therapy she had started to confront her past in a brave attempt to build a future:

“I think I wouldn’t be able to sit here and talk with you if I hadn’t started the process, because I wouldn’t be able to be that honest about what’s happened and then say it without blame, just say it as fact, and how I see it.”  Lucy.

This is Lucy’s story. It’s not easy to watch but it offers hope.  And because her struggle sheds light on issues that so often go ignored, it needs to be heard.

The film does contain material that some people may find distressing.

Comments from visitors to the exhibition

  • “As a homeless person myself I have seen just how these poor people have lived. Many are casualties from family breakdowns and [these] can have a far reaching effect just like drugs. Very good exhibit. Very honest testimonies from each person on the wall.” Ray B
  • “It’s good to hear these untold stories. When you wander past people sitting on the streets you often wonder what their stories are… but you don’t feel right asking why – it wouldn’t be fair. I’m very grateful that this exhibition has allowed me to hear the real stories behind homelessness.”
  • “I was incredibly moved by the exhibition – simple, straight-forward, beautifully and sympathetically filmed and photographed. A powerful and disturbing documentary and an accolade to the bravery and tenacity of these amazing women.” Colette B
  • I have been lucky enough to have both my parents throughout my life to support me. Seeing these ladies here tonight has made me realise how grateful I should be. Reading the stories, viewing the photographs and listening to the speeches, well…I had goosebumps. I am so thankful to St Mungo’s, and all those who have supported this exhibition, for making me more aware about women sleeping rough and allowing me to read their stories.”

Where now?

The exhibition was designed so that it could travel and has now been donated to St Mungo’s, whose women’s strategy this project supports. The strategy aims to improve the support and services available to homeless women, so that they are able to rebuild their lives and achieve their potential.  St Mungo’s will continue to use this exhibition to raise awareness of women’s homelessness and ensure that these women’s stories continue to be heard.

To learn about St Mungo’s campaign focused on women’s homelessness, go to Rebuilding Shattered Lives.

To see media coverage of the exhibition please visit: WFWN in the media.

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