Magenta Living and partners showcase art exhibition on social housing perceptions

Magenta Living teamed up recently with Happy Times Activities and Open Door Charity to develop an art exhibition showcasing social housing and challenging some of the perceptions around social housing. 

The LENS experience is the brainchild of Lee Pennington, founder of Open Door Charity and they partnered for the second time with Happy Times Activities, a local Social Enterprise whose mission is to increase happiness and provide a sense of belonging for vulnerable adults.

They use a range of movement, sensory, creative, and musical activities for all to enjoy. The first LENS exhibition was held earlier this year to raise awareness of Autism and Learning Disabilities. 

The recent exhibition was held at Open Door’s Bloom Building in Birkenhead.  Open Door is a local charity which Magenta Living also work closely with who are committed to providing free, fast and effective mental health support at the point that people need it most. 

Building on the first LENS experience, four workshops were held for people to come together to explore the lived experience of social housing and express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns through the medium of art. The exhibition showcases the outcomes from these workshops – a mix of art created by Wirral residents of all ages and abilities who live or work in social housing.   

The result is a truly magical exhibition – every piece of art with a story to tell.  For example, Young Frustrations and Calm Through the Storm are two pieces done by the same young people at the beginning and end of the workshops.  They went from struggling to engage and unable to focus to finding their way through the “storm” to the calm where things felt less chaotic and clearer and the art displays this in wonderful colours. 

Another one is Growth where the artist says, “If it wasn’t for my lovely social housing home, I would never had the space or capacity to grow as a person.”  And “Good Neighbour” where, according to the artist, “It’s great to be someone’s T-bag” – find out the story behind in the link below. 

Helen Oliver, Founder and Director of Happy Times, said, “This exhibition is the result of the great workshops we held.  It’s fabulous – I’m so pleased to see all the artwork come together like this.  Each one has a story and each story is unique. 

“Through art, we have explored the perceptions and feelings about social housing, and it’s been really positive for Magenta Living –so many people have expressed how grateful they are to Magenta for the support they’ve offered.”  

Kerri Burson, Community Regeneration Officer at Magenta Living who was an integral part of making the exhibition a success, said, “This has been a wonderful project to be a part of, working with colleagues and local community organisations to come together to make a difference to people’s lives.  It really does feel like we are opening doors, empowering people and doing the right thing.” 

If you missed the exhibition – you can view it now by visiting 

For more information on Magenta Living’s partners in this, please visit: 

Happy Times Activities   – supporting older adults and adults with disabilities and Autism by offering wellbeing activities that enhance confidence and happiness to support. (Lens on Autism and LD can also be viewed on their website). 

Open Door Charity – committed to providing free, fast and effective mental health support at the point that people need it most. 

Lead image:

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