Local artist Jack Haslam talks about his new artwork on Windsor Street – and the importance of the supported accommodation being built there in helping people with disabilities live independently
“I have lived in Islington over ten years and this is the best area in London for me,” says Jack. “As I have autism, I have found the people are mostly friendly, tolerant, and supportive. This is important as I have my challenges and I need people to be patient.”
A graduate of printmaking from City Lit, Covent Garden, Jack creates art with his mother, Nicola, who’s also an artist. They have had their artwork exhibited in many group shows, including with Shape Arts, a disability-led arts organisation improving access to culture for disabled people. They’ve also showcased their paintings and etchings at the prestigious Royal Watercolour Society and the Mall Gallery in London.
A long-time client of the Islington Learning Disabilities Partnership (ILDP), Jack has also worked on pieces for the partnership’s anniversary celebrations and a Black History Month campaign. “The ILDP has always championed my work, and they linked me up with the council’s manager for the Windsor Street housing project,” Jack continues.
He chose to create “an uplifting scene featuring birds and flowers” expressing “the feelings of freedom” he associates with the idea of being able to live more independently in supported accommodation. “This project was important to me on so many levels,” says Jack. “First, as one day I would like to fly the nest and be independent. Second, this project is allowing people who have had to move out of the borough and away from friends and family to return, which is amazing.”
More information about the Windsor Street development can be found on Islington Council’s website.