A NEW community exhibition titled 'S for Southend', which showcases artworks made by local residents and artists of all ages, is taking place at Focal Point Gallery.

The exhibition opens on Saturday January 22 at the gallery in Elmer Square, Southend, with a free launch event open to all from 12pm - 6pm.

The artwork to be shown includes some made during the gallery's Tip of the Iceberg project, as well as from last year's Digifest, its annual celebration of digital arts.

Stanford Lee Hope Primary School and Estuary High School will have works shown, which were made in workshops led by local artists Anna Lukala and Shaun C. Badham, in response to environmental themes.

There will also be sculptural pieces, photography and film, made this year by students in the Silver Arts Award, run by local artists Laurence Harding and Philippa Steward.

Stop motion animation and music from sound recordings taken in Southend are just some of the works made in this year's Digifest

programme which will be on display.

'S for Southend' will also have artworks on display produced by local community groups and charities Southend Care's Project 49 and Trust Links, alongside computer coded animated works by the Contemporary Elders group from South Essex Homes.

Local filmmaker Aaron Shrimpton's 'S for Southend' film (from which the exhibition title is taken) will be on display in Gallery 2. The film was commissioned by Historic England and produced by Focal Point Gallery in summer 2021.

It brings together voices, memories, and the inventive ideas of a local community in Southend-on-Sea to investigate public consciousness around how we can learn to adapt and build a better future in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

'S' for Southend continues through to Sunday February 20.

A one-off film screening of Poppets by Maz Murray will take place on Thursday February 10 at 6.30pm.

Poppets is a surreal soap opera set in Basildon and the Estuary, following an Essex girl investigating malpractice in a

local housing development, and two women who meet and fall in love on a night out at Bas Vegas. They are psychically linked to the story of two Plotlands women (as overshared to them by an old man in the smoking area) who visit their local witch to make a 'poppet'.

In addition, on Saturday February 12, there will be a Creative Open Day at Focal Point Gallery. This photography workshop is open to all, based on the theme's community, light and hope.

A spokeman for the gallery said: "'S for Southend' will be on view for four weeks, giving the chance for anyone who took part in any events or workshops, to return to the gallery with family and friends to see their masterpieces on display, and for other residents to celebrate their achievements."