Brighton Oasis Project Launches Programme Of Arts And Research

The Art of Attachment is an arts based project led by local substance misuse charity, Brighton Oasis Project (BOP), in partnership with acclaimed artists, Lemn Sissay and Charlotte Vincent. The project will involve an exciting programme of research and creative activity funded by Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.

The Art of Attachment seeks to explore individual experiences of attachment, an area that is of increasing importance in the fields of substance misuse, mental health and children’s services. The project represents an opportunity for BOP clients and those in the wider community to participate in workshops and events run by Lemn Sissay and Charlotte Vincent as well as other artists including filmmaker, Becky Edmunds and painter, Oscar Romp and illustrator, Laura Bissonet.

Brighton Oasis Project -Logo

Brighton Oasis Project (BOP) brings 20 years experience working with women who have issues with drugs and alcohol, as well as children and young people who have been affected by substance misuse in the family. Jo-Anne Welsh, Director of Brighton Oasis Project says, “The Art of Attachment is an inclusive project which acknowledges the resilience of women and children affected by substance misuse. It offers an opportunity for our clients and other groups in the community to participate in the arts and to have their voices heard”

Lemn Sissay MBE, poet/writer/playwright, is Chancellor of the University of Manchester an associate artist at London’s Southbank Centre. Lemn was the first poet commissioned to write for London Olympics and has an MBE for services to literature. His Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London. Lemn grew up in the care system and often draws on his difficult childhood experiences through his work. He is renowned for nurturing new writers and especially those who are care leavers, enabling them to go on to a life of creativity.

In October, Lemn Sissay visited BOP to lead two exciting poetry workshops for children, young people and adults, whose work will be showcased at ONCA Gallery, Brighton on 12th and 13th December.

Charlotte Vincent is a choreographer/director who formed Vincent Dance Theatre (VDT) in 1994 and has directed all the company’s work to date. Led by ‘one of the most important feminist artists working in Britain today (The Observer)’, VDT produce powerful dance theatre work on stage, on film and online challenging conventional values in dance and gender politics. VDT also facilitates extensive social engagement and professional development programmes. VDT is a National Portfolio Organisation, funded by Arts Council England, recently nominated for Best Independent Company in the National Dance Awards 2017.

Charlotte says of her involvement in the project: “I am thrilled to be part of this project, to build VDT’s partnership with Oasis and to work with women and children whose stories deserve to be heard. Attachment is a complex, fascinating area of research and impacts on all of us in our closest relations, especially as mothers.

To work imaginatively with vulnerable women and children and those professionals who support, nurture and challenge them, is personally and professionally very exciting. There are personal, psychological, neurological, moral and socio-political issues at stake with this work and my job will be to create something that gives voice to those issues, acknowledging the essential work Oasis carries out on a day to day basis for women in recovery remaining at the heart of this process.”


Following a research phase, Charlotte is currently designing and delivering practical, creative workshops for children and adults who access support from BOP, to reflect on their life experiences, their attachments and relationships, identifying hopeful ways forward. Throughout 2018 Charlotte Vincent will collaborate with participants through workshops and activities. The programme of work will take place in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings and will give rise to movement, text, film and recorded conversation.

The project will culminate in a live performance which will be shown on 18th October 2018 at the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts. Lemn Sissay will also perform a new poem written for the Art of Attachment Project at this event and there will be a permanent installation of Lemn’s poem within the city of Brighton and Hove.

Exhibitions, events and key dates:

12 – 13 December 2017 (12-6pm)
ONCA Gallery
“You’re the Blue Ice on Pluto” Project Launch – A poetical exploration for the Art of Attachment to include word, sound and visuals, including drawings by Oscar Romp, poetry

21 May – 3 June 2018
Jubilee Library
Project showcase with drawings by Laura Bissonet

Summer 2018
Phoenix Gallery

11 – 13 September 2018
Fabrica Gallery
Exhibition, panel discussion. New film by Becky Edmunds.

Autumn 2018
Towner Gallery Eastbourne
Workshops and events.

18 October
Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts
Live performance directed by Charlotte Vincent and poetry by Lemn Sissay.

November 18 onwards
Films of the work distributed online / Lecture Demonstration Series delivered in a range of social, academic and community contexts by Charlotte Vincent and Oasis on The Arts of Attachment

Find out more:

Twitter: @Brighton_Oasis