Един талантлив художник от Полша – Флорентина, и нейната история за рисуването й в България:
I remember it like it was today…
When I first met Pepa, was the 2016; in October. I was on study visit, sent by my organization to check if everything was going on well. (My sending org. and Pepa’s were partners in some European project.) Pepa showed us, me and other colleagues in this study visit, which kind of activities she was involved in. One of them was to paint walls in a hospital for children. Open Space Foundation’s volunteers were painting walls in the small patients’ rooms and also the operating rooms. I was curious how those paintings could change perception of hospital visitors. People told me that these paintings helped making the place more beautiful, so that the moments children spend inside, and their memories of those moments, would be less painful and kindlier. I thought that was amazing: art can help in healing and pulling you away from bad and depressing thoughts and memories. After this I came back to Poland, and all the time in my head I had this thoughts about education through art.
I don’t know what happened, I don’t know how, but the Universe wanted me to come back to Sofia again. Or maybe it was because of this wish I expressed, while visiting the Russian church in Sofia (probably you know this special place where you can put your wishes written in paper and to pray your wishes to become true). Never mind, but something for sure was watching over me and made my wishes come true: in fact, here I am. Again, in Bulgaria, in Sofia, and in the same hospital.
My task was to make project about no hate speech, and, because I am vegetarian, I decided to make a project related with vegetables but portrayed in a more lovely and expressive way than they normal are…or people think they are. So, one sunny day, I took my paints and brushes and I started to paint the bottom of the hospital’ swimming pool. Not exactly the bottom, but walls or, if you prefer, edges. My project was related with No hate speech movement, but honestly… for a very long time I wasn’t able to really feel this vegetables topic connected with No Hate Speech movement. Because how, tell me, how painting vegetables in swimming pools can help to fight discrimination, racism and neglected human rights?
But still I keep on painting because I really enjoy this process and help to make places more beautiful for the children was important for me. In fact, after the swimming pool, I painted two rooms. All the process during the painting was interesting, because I learnt to resign from my too ambitious focus on details. I realized that real walls are not like canvas, where You can search edge, perfect color or proportions. Hospitals are places for people, where they lay and come back to health. Where they spend, sometimes, the scariest moments in their lives. And I started thinking “maybe this painting is not like big action against racism, but is a more kind and nice way to show ‘yes I care about You’ to people which are in need for this. I want to make for You this place nicer, cozier to make You happy and help You in the fight against illness and evil, sad thoughts. This is a type of help as well, no? After this enlightenment I spoke with Ieva and she said “Flora, our painting is like love speech for this people’’ and she was right.
I show myself with my project and paintings, I show my art and the way I treat colors, the way I feel shapes and what I can create with the space. For me this opportunity was also like giving my heart for this place and people. It Is a precious experience in my life, because after this I saw how art can make Us open for each other and for ourselves as well.