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A new exhibition at Cambridge University Library will feature a collection of artworks created by people living through difficult circumstances in the Cambridgeshire area. Anonymous Individuals presents 45 collage self-portraits that have been created through local non-profit, GAP Learning, and will be on display in the University Library’s Entrance Hall from 4th July – 23rd September.

GAP delivers practical and creative workshops for people with mental and physical health challenges, the long-term unemployed, women ex-offenders and survivors of domestic violence. This exhibition at the University Library, where we are currently celebrating our 600th anniversary, will showcase artwork from GAP’s Craftworks workshop, through which the learners are able to express themselves through their creations. For some it is a redemptive process, some use it as a culmination of the skills learnt; others to explore their identity and express where they are in life and what they feel – for all it is a visual representation of the transformative power of learning.

Learners gift their canvas to GAP and displayed together they represent a whole community of voices, some never before heard. Each canvas is anonymous yet beautifully individual, made stronger by those around it and by the whole.

Amanda Page and Teresa Crickmar, sisters and founders of GAP Learning, said: “We are very proud of our learners – they put themselves forward, and turn up to class even when life is tough. We are so happy to be given the opportunity to showcase their creative talents. Many people have been involved in bringing the exhibition to the iconic University Library and we are grateful to everyone involved in the journey. We thank the University Library on behalf of our graduates who will visit the exhibition and see their artwork displayed in an iconic institution. What a wonderful achievement for us all.”

Marjolein Allen of the University Library, said: “Learning is at the heart of both the University Library and GAP Learning, and we are therefore excited to be able to support this local non-profit organisation and the invaluable resources they provide the community.”

Anonymous Individuals will be on display in the University Library’s Entrance Hall from Monday 4th July – Friday 23rd September and is free and open to all.