Care – Then and Now at Oxo Tower Gallery
This intimate exhibition shows the work and impact of CARE International, a charity that organises care packages for those around the world who are living in post-conflict situations, who require basic necessities for everyday living. The charity has its origins from post-World War II when the United States sent care packages across to Europe. Now the charity empowers individuals and collectives, particularly female-led, with startup funds to pursue their business goals and still sends care packages to those in critical situations.
The gallery is set up to be an immersive and interactive experience. While it is a fairly small space, it is used well with attention-grabbing multimedia pieces. Upon entering, you are greeted with a replica red telephone booth, through which the stories of those who received some of the original care packages and those who organised to send them. The people involved are never far from mind as the exhibition continues and this is an effective and evocative design. The individuals being helped are real and their struggle is really not that far away from our own existence.
Something that CARE offers are crowd funded loans. People across the developing world can request loan amounts and present their business plan and the lender gets their investment back over time. This is presented on tablets showing various active submissions and their progress. This is an example of how past and the present are continuously linked- here in the technology and modern concept. Another example is the connection between the original items in the packages that are produced today in in a way that generates income for people across the world.
The recognisable CARE logo is present on boxes that act as screens for projectors and which hold video displays within them. The charity and its name are subtly embedded upon the exhibition as the beliefs they represent remain embedded on the subconscious.
This exhibition is particularly poignant at a time when the plight of refugees and those fleeing conflict becoming increasingly prominent on our consciousness. This show does well to show how aid and charity from others helped to get a post-war Britain back on its feet. It encourages that charitable attitude to cement itself as not only what created modern British society, but what continues to drive it as a global citizen.
Care: Then and Now is at the Oxo Tower Gallery from 21st October until 25th October 2015, for further information visit here.