AN EXHIBITION of art by homeless people is being organised to help counter negative attitudes towards them.

University of Brighton psychologist Bruno De Oliveira is working with the street sleepers and between them they have come up with the idea of an art exhibition for next year’s Brighton Fringe.

Bruno said with more homeless on the streets of Brighton and Hove than in past years, the need for change was greater than ever.

The way society treats rough sleepers at present is a “form of violence”, he said.

The participants are working at Emmaus Brighton and Hove, a homelessness charity in Portslade, and University of Brighton art students have volunteered to help.

Some students have already been passing on their skills to the homeless at Emmaus workshops.

Carl Walker, principal lecturer in the school of applied social science, said: "Bruno’s work with Emmaus is an exemplar of the way that co-produced work between community organisations and university students can highlight and address key issues for marginalised groups in and around our city."

Two Emmaus residents taking part in the Fringe exhibition are Matt and Lee.

Matt said: “The exhibition and Bruno’s talk to us has definitely had an impact. I’ve always been an artist. My main passion is letter work but I am apprenticing as a tattooist now. Making furniture and tattooing are what I want to be doing when I leave here.”

Lee said: “I accidentally came across Emmaus when I was looking around to see what I could do in terms of volunteering.

"I really liked their ethos because it’s not just about homelessness here. You earn your way through life at Emmaus, which is what I believe everybody should do.”

Bruno is currently trying to raise £1,000 to provide rough sleepers with paints and canvasses and said the exhibition will go some way towards this end by demonstrating their skills and talents. The homeless should be regarded like anyone else, people with aspirations and feelings and not people to be shunned and marginalised.

He added: “The idea is not just to have a better understanding of homelessness but to bring social change and emancipation with the people I am working with.”