Homeless History of Newcastle
‘Missing Pieces’ is a unique and captivating exhibition exploring the Homeless History of Newcastle.

The exhibition is the work of ‘Homeless History of Newcastle’, a Heritage Lottery funded project bringing Crisis Skylight members who have experience of homelessness together with project lead and historian Kristopher McKie and museum curator David Wright in the search for stories and evidence from the city’s past.

More than 170,000 families and individuals across Britain are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness. That includes people sleeping on the streets, sofa-surfing or in other dangerous situations. Rough sleeping alone is estimated to have increased by 169% since 2010.

The exhibition features rarely seen documents and photographs from local archives as well as personal stories from past and present to find out what history can tell us about the ongoing crisis of homelessness in Britain.

‘Missing Pieces’ takes place across five venues in Newcastle City Centre including City Library, Laing Gallery, Discovery Museum, Bessie Surtees House and St Nicholas’ Cathedral.

Everything beat competition from across the country to work on the project and were commissioned to create a strong brand visual presence for Homeless History of Newcastle as well as marketing materials and the resulting exhibition design.

We began by speaking with Crisis Skylight staff and their members to gain an insight into how the brand identity could most authentically represent the theme of homelessness in Newcastle. We responded with a simple and bold typographic treatment that puts the project title and theme instantly at the forefront.

The exhibition materials and social media presence are anchored by the exhibition title, ‘Missing Pieces’.

On the exhibition programme we used a die cut cover which when opened up revealed fully the mysterious character on the cover as a play on the exhibition title.

Each venue in the exhibition focused on a different discussion around homelessness such as ‘community’, ‘experiences’ and ‘fragments’. To highlight this each venue was given its own colour scheme to clearly identify each narrative. This was then incorporated into the exhibition interpretation, with each site having its own unique focus and personality while still sharing a clear narrative thread with the overarching exhibition as a whole.

Homeless History of Newcastle was successful in creating a compelling and passionate city-wide discourse on the issues and impact of homelessness. ‘Missing Pieces’ has inspired and instigated an inclusive, compassionate yet challenging discussion around issues that are pertinent to the wellbeing of British society. Everything were proud and honoured to play a part in enabling that discussion.

“Our project dealt with some challenging, topical themes and it was vital to us that we avoided slipping into cliches and stereotypes in its presentation. Everything produced marketing and exhibition material with a bold, striking and contemporary feel, challenging our audiences to think differently about the crisis of homelessness.”

David Wright, Exhibition Curator

Contributors
Exhibition Curator: David Wright
Project Lead: Kristopher McKie
Project Management: Crisis Skylight
Photography: Mark Slater