Local artist Russell Haines teams up with Aspire for art exhibition
- 01 June 2021
- Aspire Leisure
Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust is pleased to announce that they have secured an art exhibition by Russell Haines that will be mounted and displayed through the public corridors and alcove spaces at GL1. The exhibition will feature paintings of diverse local people who are known in the local community, bringing Gloucester to life.
The exhibition is called ‘Tales from a City’, part of which has previously been on display in the Tower of London and at Gloucester Cathedral Cloisters as part of Russells ‘Faith, Hope and Charity’ exhibition.
Russell is a stroke survivor who discovered his talent as an artist through his rehabilitation and recovery from stroke and depression. At Aspire, we are dedicated to helping local people achieve their health, wellbeing, and fitness goals. Part of this includes supporting and facilitating health recovery journeys, such as for those who have survived strokes, cancer, and other illnesses.
What’s more, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a lot of people feeling lonely and cut off from the community. Russell’s art exhibition will not only give people a way to interact with others, but will also visually highlight the diverse, vibrant, and exciting community which Aspire and its members are a part of.
Following the easing of coronavirus restrictions on the 19th July, many community-focussed organisations – including our facilities – are excited to welcome the community back. We hope that this exhibition will bring the community together after a long time apart.
Russell Haines stated: “For what seems an eternity now, COVID has restricted us in almost every conceivable way. As an artist who wants people to experience the work that I do ‘in the flesh,’ I have found that it has been hard to see the scale and the details up close in our new online normal. That is why this opportunity to exhibit in a space like GL1 is so exciting, as it allows us to try and get back to seeing and experiencing art like we used to, but in a place that is perhaps unexpected but actually very apt.”
He continues: “My work is all about people, community, and the commonalities that we possess, and GL1 embodies this in being an inclusive space enjoyed and used by everyone, regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, or cultural background. It is a perfect space to celebrate the diverse city that we live in.”
Jacquie Douglas, Chief Executive of Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust, is delighted that Russell has agreed to exhibit his fabulous work, free of charge, at the charity’s GL1 facility and added: “We are thrilled to be marking the anticipated further easing of National Lockdown restrictions by ensuring such a poignant and locally relevant exhibition can be enjoyed by our local community. Russell’s recovery from ill-health is a great example of what can be achieved in the face of adversity – and what better time to showcase his work, in the heart of the City, as we begin our community recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. GL1 is a place where physical and mental wellbeing is at the heart of all that we do, and I would encourage everyone to pop into GL1 and discover the joy of Russell’s work”.
A formal launch event is being planned at Aspire which will invite stakeholders, civic dignitaries, and community group leaders to mark our recovery and celebrate all that is ‘community’ in Gloucester.
Aspire is a charitable trust which was set up to support and celebrate local people, so we couldn’t be more pleased to partner with Russell and display an exhibition that is so personal to Gloucester.
The exhibition is free to visit, and we encourage local people to enjoy it.
To find out more about Russell’s work, please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-47356459.