AN artist is aiming to raise the issue of homelessness at an art show in Winchester Discovery Centre.

Cathy Fox is putting on a display of lino prints of homeless people she has met during 2019.

It is currently on display for a month in the cafe area along with other print works from the Owslebury printmaker, ending on Friday January 31.

Cathy said: “My display of lino prints was inspired by these six human beings currently homeless and sleeping rough. I met or talked to them on my travels throughout 2019, in Winchester, Southampton, Wells, London and Royal Leamington Spa.

“I want to encourage conversations about homelessness and I am making a social statement through my printmaking. Great Britain has a national crisis with the numbers of people of all ages, rough sleeping...7,000 across England alone with numbers that have doubled in the last few years. It is a crisis of our time…. and it is escalating.

“This problem is difficult to resolve, as there are so many reasons why someone does not have a roof over their heads. It can happen to any of us, from all walks of life: perhaps a loss of a job, family breakdown, divorce, domestic violence, mental illness, substance misuse, crime, debt, human trafficking or lack of appropriate low cost housing.

“It is winter. People are dying on our streets. 726 rough-sleepers died in England and Wales in 2018, a 22% rise from 2017.” (Shelter report).

Cathy told the Chronicle: “Please encourage your friends to come and view my lino prints. Start the conversations. Find out how you can help. Talk to homeless people when safe to do so. Listen to their stories and help them to help themselves. Buy the Big Issue. It is good value for money.

“In Winchester there are many charitable organisations who are trying to help in practical ways. There are friendly street pastors, provision of food and hot drinks, night shelter and advice.”