The last few weeks I’ve been volunteering at the Schoolbox project in Greece. https://www.schoolboxproject.org/greece
It is small refugee camp based in Lechania where you make home visits and play activities with the children. Some of the advise given before starting on camp and activities we did throughout the day;
- visit different families for an hour a day ‘flower hour’
- be prepared with games, art activities that suit the age of the children
- teach English to teenagers in an informal structure
- set up for yoga and encourage the smaller children to stretch and encourage them to stay on their mat
- do not discuss traumatic events in front of the children, arrange a social visit at a different time
- social visits; speak with adults casually and try and keep the mood light. Unless direction changes by person who opens up and speaks about past events
The surrounding area to the camp was very isolated. It made me think about isolation, quietness and being alone, feelings that I hadn’t really felt while being in Lesvos. I think there is an importance of the different emotions to be visualised in some way in my body of work. I would like to explore quietness and isolation, visualised with areas of space. I’m hoping to create artwork that is sensitive to the subject matter and that has empathy for the people and their experiences.
In Lesvos I think it is the empty buildings that are not used to house those in need, makes me want to highlight this in my paintings. Hopefully, exploring these two contrasts will allow for work that is sensitive to the subject matter.
The combination of both, will hopefully also create an atmosphere of a dystopian space.