Artwork at Wakefield Kirkgate station will help tackle homelessness

A new art installation at Wakefield Kirkgate railway station will draw attention to homelessness among young people in Yorkshire.

Heart On Her Skin, by artist Andrea Tyrimos, is an audio-visual portrait of Catherine, who credits homeless charity Centrepoint with getting her back on her feet after years of homelessness.

Speaking at the portrait’s unveiling, she said: “I became homeless at the age of 15. I’d had mental health issues from a very young age.

“I ended up in a psychiatric facility. For years it was just a matter of being homeless, going back into hospital, staying with people that were violent.

Heart On Her Skin, by artist Andrea Tyrimos, is an audio-visual portrait of Catherine, who credits homeless charity Centrepoint with getting her back on her feet after years of homelessness.

“My anorexia got so bad I was taken into intensive care. That’s when I found Centrepoint.

“I moved into a shared house and had support workers visit me every day. I got into volunteering and got the mental health support I needed.”

The portrait is now on permanent display in the Grand Central Lounge at Kirkgate Station, alongside an audio clip telling Catherine’s story.

Grand Central were an integral part of the portrait process, and provided train tickets to allow Catherine to sit for the portrait, as well as transporting the finished piece to the station.

Heart On Her Skin, by artist Andrea Tyrimos, is an audio-visual portrait of Catherine, who credits homeless charity Centrepoint with getting her back on her feet after years of homelessness.

Artist Andrea Tyrimos said: “Several people close to me suffer with mental health issues but they don’t speak about it for fear of being judged by society.

“That breaks my heart, if it was a physical ailment you’d have no problem speaking about it.”

“I wanted to use celebrities’ status to open people’s eyes, but for each pubic figure that appears in the project I match them with a member of the public.

“For me there’s such a fine line between homelessness and mental health, I really wanted to explore that relationship.

“Catherine just represents that you really can come out of the other side. Even in her darkest times she kept going and Centrepoint were able to give her the support she needed.”