Yes indeed, I was talking to the artist Conor Walton the other day. You may know him for his incredibly accurate still life paintings, his paintings of loaves of bread, pounds of butter, bars of chocolate and such (He’s also won a stack of awards for his work). Anyway, we were talking about homelessness and he told me that he had done a series of drawings of homeless people called ‘Shelter Portraits’.
These drawings were done in the Dublin Simon Shelter where Walton worked as a volunteer between 2000 and 2003. Each portrait was drawn directly from life in one sitting. According to Walton: Formal concerns ( composition, colour etc) were subordinated to getting the person down on paper as quickly and spontaneously as possible… more importantly, each drawing represents a simple encounter with another human being.
Eventually forty of these portraits were exhibited in Jorgensen Fine Art Gallery in Dublin in April 2003 and all forty of them were sold, ten being acquired for the collection of the National Library of Ireland. All the proceeds went directly to the Dublin Simon Community.
Read Conor’s essay about the drawings at: http://www.conorwalton.com/simonportraits/shelterportraits.htm
For the Simon Community see: http://www.dubsimon.ie/Home.aspx