Big Issue vendor-turned-artist calls for help from readers for next work

Lou will use the quotes to cover the interior of large cardboard structures

A former Big Issue vendor who now studies Fine Art is calling for readers and vendors to be part of her next work.

Lou Jane, who was homeless off and on from age 16 until 24, sold The Big Issue in Exeter and is now studying at Petroc College in Barnstaple, Devon.

She has a new project looking at the portrayal of street homeless through the media, and aims to tie in thoughts of street homeless people around the UK.


She explains: “I would like responses to the statement ‘Homelessness is…’ as a way of generating artwork that deals with issues and experiences round the subject. The idea came from a handwritten sign that a guy in Barnstaple town centre was holding.”

Lou will use the quotes to cover the interior of large cardboard structures, with the aim of exhibiting in city centres around the UK.


Last year, 27,000 people worldwide earned an income selling street papers, making a total of £23.4 million.

She said: “I have put in my own responses, but hope this installation will develop with input from others’ experiences.”

All responses sent to Lou will be kept completely confidential and used anonymously.

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A rethink regarding underused student accommodation could help in regard to the housing crisis. Read more about this idea in this week’s Big Issue magazine.