Leon Jakeman Explores Art Through The Eyes Of A Recovering Addict

The Brink, Space13’s L.I.F.T (Lost Is Found Theory) exhibition explores artist Leon Jakeman’s recovery journey and feature work from participants in the Brink’s Community Arts Programme. Simon Yorke will exhibit portraits of people who sell the Big Issue.
As you walk along Parr street, you will find this wonderful cafe, arts hub, discreet but dignified on the outside with a  vast cafe and creative space on the inside,

The Brink is the first Dry Bar working closely with local artists, musicians, poets and performers to put on a wide range of amusing, entertaining, educational and inspirational events.

”Sourcing and working with personal content and physical material – lost and found.

By collating discovered material and identifying what it means to us, we aim to bring to life what is found both mentally and physically.”

Leon Jakeman’s exhibition, L’I’F’T at the Brink, Liverpool is an interesting insight into the beauty of found objects. ‘Objects and material we surround ourselves with carry a history and set of connections like that of people”.

This SPACE 13, LIFT Biennial exhibition consists of a variety of old and new mixed media works by Leon Jakeman whose own recovery journey has taken precedence over his practice over the past four years. Leon has also delivered a series of intimate  L.I.F.T workshops as part of the Brink Arts Programme and the exhibition includes works from the participatory element resulting from these sessions.

Leon’s works are a combination of found objects that are derived from memories of childhood, picking up debris and discarded items from the street.

There is a Dadaesque  and slightly eerie feel to the works. The neat display of archived baby dummies catches the eye. It reminded me of birth and rebirth, the manufactured  noise muters are seen in  a  new light as Leon has displayed them in  boxes alongside the wall.

Jakeman’s work, ‘Back to my root’s’, is an interesting installation that lights up amongst the ragged roots of an old tree, creating a beautiful honey coloured welcoming place, a cavern of curiosities when you look inside of it and see the entwined roots of the tree on fire with a honey coloured neon light.

Space 13 Artistic Director, Leon Jakeman has been developing his own practice and work since 2002. more constructive and with fluidity since he has been free from a destructive cycle of addiction. Leon set up the Brink Arts Programme in 2011. and gained a North West Creative Recovery Award in 2012. He continues to curate the space as well as delivering creative outreach workshops. Space 13 has been born from his own journey to recovery.

”The human condition provides a fundamental source of inspiration within my work. ‘Our’ individual actions and mutual interactions, strategies and patterns of behaviour offers a matrix of expression that allows me to investigate, display and transmit feelings. I ‘break-down’ my ‘compulsive’  complexity, simplifying my message by means of arrangements and statements. This provides a fertile ground for the exploration of communication, relation of verbal and non verbal language.”

Space 13 works closely with groups creatively to bring about the importance of unison, relationship and partnership for change. The visionary aim being to impact primarily service user, group and community by focusing on how we relate interact, perceive and work with one another.

Being all inclusive it invites a platform of opportunity and growth by uniting and engaging with services, helping to bridge gaps socially, thus allowing diverse individuals and groups to break down barriers and stigmatism and work together cohesively and constructively.

Best of all, The Brink is a recovery social enterprise, which means that all  profits go directly back into the community to fund support for those who have suffered through alcoholism and addiction.

Well worth visiting throughout the biennial arts programme.

Words:  Alice Lenkiewicz Photo: Courtesy of The Brink and the artist

Space 13 presents L.I.F.T, Lost Is Found Theory.

Leon Jakeman – The Brink – 15 – 21 Parr street Liverpool L1 4JN

OPENING HOURS Mon–fri: 9am–11pm Sat: 10am–11pm – FRIDAYS, 13.00 – 15.00
L.I.F.T (Lost Is Found Theory) WORKSHOP 12 weekly 2-hour workshops, turning once abandoned, discarded, lost and found beautiful objects into something new and beautiful, we will go on to look at how we can apply these same processes to our lives to take on new meaning. Will culminate in an exhibition, on display at The Brink throughout the Liverpool Biennial. To book, Contact Leon Jakeman on 07584 127 238 or enquire at Brink. Sun: 11am–10pm

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