U CAN Spray
1011. Sarah Gillings
Sarah Gillings, from Sussex, is a professional artist who founded 'U CAN Spray', the first dedicated spray-painting charity that works with disengaged young people who are not in education or employment to inspire them through the medium of street art.
Sarah runs workshops with local councils and community groups and has helped over 600 young people aged 16-24 to design murals and express themselves through spray-paint. She is currently establishing an inclusive studio where she can help disadvantaged young people to engage in community art projects all year round.
In a personal letter to Sarah, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“By establishing ‘U CAN Spray’ you are helping disadvantaged young adults to realise their creative potential. Your engaging workshops are helping young people from diverse backgrounds to express themselves through spray painted murals and community art projects.”
Maria Caulfield, Sarah’s local MP for Lewes, said:
“I would like to congratulate Sarah Gillings on her well-deserved Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister. It is great that Sarah and ‘U CAN Spray’ has helped over 600 local young people to express themselves through spray-paint.”
“I’m so thrilled that my time and vision over the years founding ‘U CAN Spray’, has been recognised by the Prime Minister. ‘U CAN Spray’ charity, has the potential to grow nationally into a life-changing experience which supports young people through arts as a vocation. There’s so much that can be achieved in getting young people engaged in cultural activities, which in turn benefits the whole community. This award is vindication that innovative, and perhaps slightly subversive ideas, can grow wings to create social change!”
Picture above: Sarah with piece of art ‘Alice Against FGM’ (credit: Tom Oldham)
Pictures below: uniquely designed laser-cut stencils for ‘U CAN Spray’, and spray painting in action