AN art exhibition which challenges prejudices and negative views about people living in social housing, is coming up at the Forum next week.

It's called Portrayal, and is being run by South Essex Homes, at the same time showcasing the talents of local residents.

The housing organisation, which manages and maintains council housing on behalf of Southend Borough Council, had an overwhelming response to its recent Open Call for them to submit their 'selfies', poems, artwork, stories, photos and biographies.

Maria Medina, community development officer for South Essex Homes, explained: “A national housing portrait competition was held recently, which invited housing organisations like ours, to submit photos which challenged the stereotypical views of social housing tenants.

"We were able to enter a number of photos for this competition, a process which made us all realise just how wrong those stereotypes can be - as we have some really interesting and inspirational council tenants living here in Southend.

"Off the back of that, we decided to encourage our residents to show us who they are, and how they contradict the stereotypes, through whatever artistic method they prefer – and since we issued the Open Call in March, we’ve had a fantastic range of submissions."

The organisation says that it may be possible for residents to submit their work, if they do so by the end of this weekend.

Portrayal Exhibition is on at the Forum, Elmer Square, Southend, from May 6 until May 31.

Opening times are eekdays 8am – 10pm, Saturdays 8am – 6pm and Sundays 11am – 5pm.

Admission is free.