The Big Issues Project

The Big Issues Project offers artist-led workshops to vulnerable and socially excluded people as part of the Artists' Village's Art for All community programme. We work with up to eight groups every year including prisons, community groups and youth groups.

'The Big Issues workshop programme has helped me to add colour and brightness while going through some dark and difficult times... I look forward to the workshops as I get to spend time with like-minded people and gain ideas and valuable advice.' — Sam, The Big Issues 2016 participant

A contemporary artist introduces the collection at Watts Gallery and the themes behind it to inspire the groups. Participants then learn art and design skills to express their ideas and issues they care about.

All participants in the project are invited to exhibit and sell their work in an annual exhibition, and young people involved in the project are invited to take part in Arts Awards.

'Not only have i gained experience but also confidence in my art skills, myself and in general. After every session my confidence has gradually increased.' — Naomi, The Big Issues 2016 participant

Both Mary and G F Watts believed that art could transform lives, and The Big Issues Project has touched the lives of hundreds of participants since 2008, contributing to their rehabilitation and well-being.

The programme also includes CPD opportunities, lectures and seminars for those working in this field.

Organisations interested in finding out more about the project and taking part should contact