Meet Imogen Paton: founder of Art Against Abuse (an INCREDIBLE WOMAN). Imogen started this project to help victims of abuse outlet their feelings by drawing on old cars and will be joining us (with a car) at JAM ON RYE – as part of the Peckham Levels Presents: Se15-ssions stage, representing local artists both inside and out of Peckham Levels THIS BANK HOLIDAY MAY.
Thank you Imogen for sharing your story… full interview below.
Your story behind and why I set up Arts Against Abuse
“Now this is a very long story but I’ll give you the nutshell version. Five years ago I fell in love with a charming, beautiful , well educated, softly spoken man who talked about charity and wooed me with his strong but somehow creative and free spirited nature. Fast forward two years and I was running to the police with our two day old son in my arms, fleeing for my life after two years of extreme violence, mental abuse, financial abuse and explanations as to how my life was going to be abruptly terminated and my death framed as suicide. Fast forward again 6 months and I was beginning my project with the car crash that is The Bad Karma Impala, the 1968 chevrolet impala that was smashed up by my ex and was literally the only thing I had left apart from my three beautiful children, their health and my own. During my recovery, I had been helped by an organisation called Solace Women’s Aid who not only supported me through my trauma and heart ache, but also provided me with an education as to what I had been victim to and the way in which I had been preyed upon. It was during this process that I began to realise the extent of the issue and just how many people were suffering in silence. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men. Before domestic abuse happened to me, it was not on my radar and I just felt a burning need to do something to educate the public on this crime and to ensure other victims got the same level of support that I had been so lucky to get and which was CRUCIAL to my healing. Fast forward two more years and here I am, running my own gender neutral, age neutral, sexuality neutral victim support organisation that uses the arts as a medium to crush stigma, end victim blaming and open dialogue about this subject so shrouded in secrecy and shame. I run several projects under the umbrella; cars for causes and t-shirt campaign I Own Me empowering individuals. I never imagined being here, feeling better and stronger than ever before in my life, but achieving my goal of making a difference and fighting for those without a voice by refusing to hide away my truth has given me a happiness far richer than the £180,000 I lost in just 8 months during that relationship could have ever made me had I been able to turn back the hands of time. My message is clear, victims of abuse are incredibly strong, come from all walks of life, and deserve respect, and you can turn your trauma around and be a happy once again. Phew…and that was the short version!!!!”
Tell us about your art, themes, how you do it and what it means to you
A teaser of what you’ll be doing at Jam on the Rye?
Favourite London restaurant?
Which KERBanist are you most excited to try at Jam On Rye?
Who are you most looking to performing alongside at JOR?
My stage is next to my car so i’ll leave the spotlight to the pros!
Favourite spot in Peckham?
I had a shrine to Elvis in my bedroom as a kid and half of my room was a chinchilla cage!
#JAMONRYE TICKETS HERE.