To end the year, I want to share with you a really special project for me: “COLOREANDO A LA PAR” of the Fundación A la Par in Madrid. The A La Par Foundation works for the rights and participation of people with intellectual disabilities in society. Where these people usually find barriers, this foundation designs support and assistance that helps build bridges. I was able to see and feel all the love and attention of the different people who work in this foundation, and in turn to the disabled people who were so proud and felt so fulfilled to be working in the foundation every day.
At the beginning of November, together with great colleagues, I traveled to Madrid to immerse myself in the world of the Foundation. For a week, I got to know it well and see the different workshops where the people of the center work: carpentry, candy making, stamp collecting, painting. After learning about everything that happened in the different workshops, they assigned me the carpentry workshop, a space with really special that I was able to get to know in a very close way – it was a pleasure working there.
Here I worked with Gabo Lama, a“brother” and specialist in creative experiences, we designed a workshop-experience. It included different dynamics from my work as an artist that stimulated and challenged the creativity of the participants, but above all served to unite the team and strengthen ties and values that would be reflected in the mural that we would paint together in his work shed.
Thinking of creativity as the human ability to combine, and under the idea that we all feel colors and we can play with them in a thousand ways, I wanted the participants to immerse themselves in my pictorial universe, so that they could play with forms and elements representative of my work and in this way enhance their artistic sensitivity and all their imagination to run wild.
This is how we created a set of elements that allowed the carpentry workshop team to become co-author of the work we produced together. To do this, I drew a wide variety of elements from nature, printing them on adhesive paper and cutting them out so that the whole group could compose from the shapes and then share their results. In this process I was able to see a great variety of compositions that were all different from each other. they made these compositions on wood supports I could also listen to the different explanations about each compositions and I was surprised to hear and see that each one interpreted the forms I had given them in multiple ways. The wealth of ideas and emotions resulting from this exchange and the ties established through this exercise raised took the energy level of the team to the next level: we were ready to paint the mural.
Through this process and the participation of the group, I made a selection of some of the combinations they made to compose the mural that I was going to make in the carpentry shop. In the next stage of the project I painted the wall coordinating with groups of two people in turns, who helped me fill in different parts of the mural. I really wanted them them to be able to work on and feel the magic of mural painting. In the end the mark of a wonderful week was reflected in a renewed work space, which is not only seen but also feels different.
This is probably one of the most special experiences I have had in 2017, and I share it today wishing you all a 2018 full of empathy, connection with others, solidarity and teamwork. Art and creativity unite us. Happy Holidays!