Painter creates interior artwork for Southend homeless support centre by painting those who use it regularly

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A Southend artist has created some thought-provoking interior artwork for a local homeless support centre by painting some of the people who use it on a regular basis.

With their permission, John Bulley has depicted a number of people who visit 57 West in Clarence Road near Southend High Street – if you are local to Southend you would have probably already seen his work elsewhere.

One of his most famous recent pieces was the Princess Leia mural on Southend seafront by the old gasworks site, and this gained a great deal of exposure after the sad death of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher.

Speaking about his creations on Facebook, he said:

I was asked to do some stuff for 57 West a local community centre, it’s a good place.

They provide help and warmth, tea and toast for the homeless and those just in need of somewhere safe to sit for a few hours a day.

So, with their permission I painted them.

They are good people. Look at the sadness and resignation in their eyes. So it goes …

It’s clear that 57 West makes a huge impact in their local community, with one Facebook reviewer saying: ’57 West is an amazing place to go to. All the staff volunteers are amazing, and the friendly people that go there are great too. Dan is an amazing sweet guy who you can talk to about anything. They always help or try and help you as much as they can.’

We should also point out that a prominent figure in the local art world may have referred to some of John’s work as ‘mediocre’ in the recent past.

As far as we can see, there is nothing ‘mediocre’ about this work!

You can find out more about 57 West on their Facebook page here, and all photos are courtesy of John Bulley / 57 West / Facebook.