Art of relief at Sjælsmark
I was part of this heart-warming and meaningful project from the beginning of the project from March to July 2019. And it made a huge impression to meet these amazing and talented children. I was grateful for their openness and receptiveness for letting me/us into their lives through art.
4 artists, was in charge of the project. Jeanette Uldall, Jakob Ingvorsen, Charlotte Tønder and Camilla Blachmann. Since then Camilla Blachmann has taken it on.
Our goal with Relief Art was to highlight the circumstances of the children in Sjælsmark. With the possibility of pre-selection to other asylum sites in Denmark.
To think new and create a space. To have the effect art has in relation to being a human being and creating identity and presence.
Here in 2020 the children have to vacate Sjælsmark and move to the Red Cross Center Avnstrup where the project fortunately continues.
My good colleague Jakob Ingvorsen has described his special efforts at Sjælsmark. Read more
Paint on the walls - can you do that?
Art project - open opportunities for expression.
Here I stand in front of one of the mega walls on Sjælsmark that the children were allowed to paint on. They loved the "forbidden" thing to paint on the wall and then at a barracks. There were also painted on scooters, canvases, paper and other creative things we could source.
The kids are just mega skilled at expressing themselves and having fun simultaneously.
The Story Behind Relief Art
Camilla Blachmann, Özlem Cekic and Bent Melchior went to visit the Camp at Sjælsmark because we had read about the conditions offered to people whose only crime was that they stay in this country.
Colorless Relationship on Sjælsmark
The surroundings at Sjælsmark appeared grey and worn out and the starting point is that it should motivate the residents to go home to intolerable conditions. The method is ineffective, but it makes no difference. Any decoration in Sjælsmark is banned, so you cannot get a suit on the sad walls and walls, for the sake of conservation provisions. Music is forbidden on the camp grounds, so you have to go into town to hear things like that if you can't afford the bus. Residents are also not allowed to cook their own food, as this is explained by a fire hazard.
The conditions on Sjælsmark are therefore by no means humane, so we will do activities that can help break boredom and treat people like human beings.
A Sustained Development Project!
The children's group at Sjælsmark is composed of children from many cultures, each with their own approach to expressing themselves. For some of the children, it might be the first time they have the opportunity to dominate a room. And express themselves through art. Therefore, relief art will be characterized by the children being greeted right where they are. We want to make sure that all ability comes into play. And there has to be room for you to both come once and that you come every time. The project is not age-related, so you can be both 3 years and 18 years old. It is important for our project that we find the means to make it a lasting project so that they know they can count on us and we expect stability and continuity.
What can Kunsten at Sjælsmark?
Art is a neutral language where people can meet and new skills can come into play. It gives a space to be who you are, with the identity you each bring and contribute to a free space. The art can be precisely the place that the challenges of being in an exit centre can be saved for a while. The children also meet adults who focus on things other than everyday internships.
The project focuses on visual art in both large and small formats. Our plan is to paint on the walls and thus give the opportunity to express yourself large and help to make a very visible and permanent imprint on one's surroundings.
The children and their parents will meet four professional artists from different cultural backgrounds. There is a common desire to work with art in the intercultural field. They all have extensive and relevant experience in involving children in co-creation processes. The legacy lies in the artists' bid for aesthetics and genres. Which children must involve and interpret into their own universe. Both art and heritage are available as artifacts and expressions. But especially through the children's own references and interpretations