This Is Me: Belonging – Virtual Exhibition

Throughout May, members of the ClementJames community and those further afield have been sending in artwork in the form of paintings, recipes, poetry, and more. We are proud to be able to display so many wonderful pieces. Have a scroll to see some of the wonderful work produced…

Due to popular demand, we have decided to keep the exhibition available to view on the website. If you have submitted work to the exhibition that you wish to be removed, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing

Happy viewing!

For me is belonging – Hannah
Why not give this recipe a go at home?
By Usukh Thomas – Adult Learning Student
Ebb and Flow: Peace
Raquel’s Spanish torrijas

Don’t they look wonderful! Why not give them a go, recipes below:

Photos taken by Ciaran, IU student in Brighton

On a sunny day when I was walking with my daughter I saw a nice homeless, smiley man. He was asking people with respect for home help. I helped him as I can but I was thinking this is short term help for few hours or minutes maybe but the real question came from my daughter. She said, “Why this people leaving on street? What happens to them”
Actually sometimes I ask myself about the problem of the homeless. Is the problem like the normal people say and it’s just for drink wine or drugs. I think they just say that to take it out of their hands and not to mind it. But have these people lost family or lost job or maybe they are not accepting the role of the life. Are they trying to leave a free life without ID or tax? Or pay bills or they heartbroken? Everyone has the secret of a past life, many people failed, some people can continue with fighting and others will not. There are many questions we have with zero answers (when the government said stay home to save lives they stay on the street).

By Tarek, Writing Group

By Martina – Adult Learning Student
Belonging by Andreas
Juliana, Adult Learning Student
The National Museum of Tanzania by an IntoUniversity student

“My name is Montse. I came from Spain. Since a few months ago I live in London with my son.

I work in a hotel. A colleague told me about an English class at The ClementJames Centre. I started to study English in January. I loved my English class. I am very happy with my teacher Rhonda.

Also they helped me and give me advice on personal issues. Thank you very much ClementJames Centre for everything!!!”

Lydia Steyn

Sunken Remembrance Garden – Clacton-on-Sea
“I chose these gardens because I have a lot of memories there and I feel so many others do as it celebrates the past. I feel it is a very important part of our community.
I did a concrete path with the circular and rectangular raised flower “boxes” or walls. I even painted on a few rocks as Clacton finds was amazing. Every night we would go down to the seafront and look for rocks and go home and paint some more.”

Photo collage about MATE, a popular Uruguayan drink – Sandra
Belonging by Craig

This is a true story about a cat who is beautiful and clever. Not far from my home is a street that is called Roman Road; where there are a lot of shops, cafes ,and  a bank. When I go shopping I often see a ginger cat and I really like him. 

One day I went to a Barclays bank and stood in the line, and I noticed the cat was in the bank building laying in front of the sun catching the sun rays. Me and the woman who was behind me in the line started talking about the cat, it turned out that she knew that ginger cat and he liked him too. She mentioned that this cat was the boss of the whole of Roman Road, this is true because I have always seen him walk around the street with his tail high up swinging in the air. 

One day after I had shopped I went home and saw that the cat was laying near a shop door; as I walked by. I then stopped and stroked his soft fur, and told him, “You are the most beautiful cat I’ve seen in this whole world.”

One evening I was preparing myself to go to sleep, as I was closing my bedroom window. Suddenly, I noticed green glaring eyes staring at me; it was the ginger cat sitting on my neighbours garden shed staring at my windows. I called over my daughter and we let the cat inside our home. He felt very secure and comfortable in our home, he explored and sniffed every corner of the rooms, like an explorer. My daughter wanted him to stay over for the night, but I didn’t let her and told her that his owners would be worried and because he is not our cat. Although we didn’t want to, we led the cat outside, I prepared a dish for him, with water and some sausages but he didn’t want any he just wanted to explore. When I closed the door, he was staring at my windows for a long time and meowed, as our heart melted. We couldn’t go to sleep for a long time because we felt sorry for him that he couldn’t explore and spend time with us. Then he left sad and never came back.

We will wait for him however, and hope for him to come and have another visit. Or maybe that was our only chance of meeting him.
From Diana

My name is Ornela.
I came to London two and half years ago. I used to live with my husband in Serbia. I had two cafes there with my brother. When I left, my father replaced me. I loved that job very much because I met a lot of people and friends. In London, I worked as a nanny, a housewife in a hotel, helping the elderly. I go to English classes because I want a new job, a better one. I love working, I love people and working with him. I want to work with children or older people. A man is happy when he does something good.”

Sponge – three layers:
15 egg whites, 15 tbsp sugar, 15 tbsp baked finely chopped hazelnuts, 5 tbsp flour, 1 tsp baking powder

Bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes

Cream: 1.5 litres milk, 15 egg yolks, 12 tbsp sugar, 3 tsp vanilla sugar, 2 tbsp flour, 4 bags vanilla pudding

Cook, chill and add: 250g margarine or unsalted butter, 150g powdered sugar, whipped cream, 1 litre heavy cream, 3 instant vanilla cream

Stack in the following order: cake, cream, heavy cream x3

Belonging – Father & Daughter
“Love Yourself as a MERMAID Loves the Ocean” by Alketa

This Is Me: Belonging
From Imen, studying English at the Centre

“I chose this picture about weddings in Tunisia because it is a tradition in our country.  We use the “jahfa” in the procession, which transports the bride on the back of a camel, hidden in a palanquin of olive wood, covered with fabrics and carpets and which leads her from the parental house to the conjugal house.”

By Laura Cavill
I am clinging on I am.
I am. I am clinging on
To the drawings I did
And poems when a kid.
But is it all I am?
Visions, words,
Memories of birds
In a chorus at dawn.
An old inherited doll, forlorn,
Torn, my comforting
Pillowcase departing worn.
Now all I recall
From a single fall
Over a book of spineless prose
Once owned I suppose
By my mother
And hers before her.
Then, on closing the door
To glimpse and cling on again
Are various characters
And the pictures copied of them.
So thinking of poems I wrote,
I’m clinging on I am, I am to dote
On all I truly have left of me
Clinging, I am
You see,
I am.

Belonging – LT
Lindsay Tartan – Catherine Lindsay

I remember a time when I had a powerful sense of ‘belonging’…

My parents-in-law had invited us to a family party to celebrate their joint birthdays. There were going to be 20 of us and they issued a dress code: we were all to come wearing something of our family tartan.1 I groaned when I read the invitation. Really? Kilts?2 What on earth would I wear?

In the end, we bought a Lindsay tartan tie for our son, my husband wore Lindsay tartan trews and I made a sash from Lindsay tartan silk. Others had Lindsay tartan bow ties, a Lindsay tartan waistcoat or a small Lindsay tartan ribbon decoration. And there were no kilts! We had a fantastic evening, and the tartan theme was actually a great success.

As we celebrated, told stories and raised our glasses to my parents-in-law, I had a profound sense of belonging to one family, the Lindsay family.

1In Scotland, there are many different kinds of tartan, each made with different coloured patterned squares. Many Scottish families have their own tartan e.g. Buchanan, Macdonald.
2Kilts are tartan skirts worn by men.

“My name is Salvatore Iuffredo, I am 23 years old and I come from Naples, Italy and I am Chef. I have been interested in cooking since the age of 13. When I was very young when my teacher asked me: “What do you want to do when you’re older?” Without hesitation, I said “Kitchen Chef!” The first time I walked into restaurant kitchen confirmed my passion to be a Kitchen Chef! It’s been 10 years, and when I am asked if I could go back, would I change jobs? I always say I would have started even younger than 13! In addition to working as a Chef I’m also a Graduate with several certificates. I’m very happy with my accomplishments, because they’ve made me who I am now. I’ve been living in London for 1 year and 2 months and for the few months I struggled to keep up! It’s a beautiful and fast city with lots of things to see and do. As soon as I reach my goal I’m going to go full swing!”

“It’s been a wonderful year but then came a virus called Covid19 or Coronavirus that killed more than 300,000 people in the world and changed everyone’s lives..! The birth of this virus has caused so much mental and physical damage but especially economically. Many people lost their jobs because smaller and larger companies could not bear the costs and therefore laid off a large part of the workforce. So it has been all over the world, especially in London where I am now. I was a bit lucky let’s say because the Restaurant where I work has closed for only 2 weeks. The leaders of all countries in the world have decided to block everything and have everyone locked up in their home and call it “Quarantine”, you can go out only for health needs and to buy food. The Quarantine I only did for 2 weeks because the Restaurant where I work opened, only for takeaway for those who wanted to help at least recover the expenses of all this bad time. The ClementJames Centre – When I arrived in London I did not know the “English” language well and I enrolled in “The ClementJames Centre” a beautiful and very professional school especially my tutor Elaine Reid. Then at school because of the Coronavirus closed in March and from there we saw the professionalism of the school, through the Zoom app we have and are continuing to study English online. We do class on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12:30 – 2:30 pm. I hope this situation ends as soon as possible and return back to life before.”

Salvatore Iuffredo