Artmongers were invited by Yarat! – the contemporary arts organisation based in Baku, Azerbaijan – to run a three week education program ending in the production of a contemporary art installation in the city.
Following successful projects in London and Buenos Aires we focused again on children’s hospitals. We found them to be immaculate, well-organised, and rather sterile. A perfect canvas.
Through a series of talks at Baku universities dozens of students from arts, architecture, design and even chemistry got involved and a core team of 6-10 put in a lot of time, energy and enthusiasm. Meeting each day for a 3 hour workshop we worked through the concept of art that is not only site-specific but also user-specific. We interviewed staff, observed the way the spaces were used and ran 2 focus groups with patients and their parents to identify their needs and dreams.
Inspiration came from the geographical location of Azerbaijan (we kept asking is it in Europe? Arab world? former Soviet Union… all seem to be true) the common thread are the Arabic numerals, now in common use all over the world.
The final outcome consists of a wrap around mural covering the whole space and a collection of hand crafted soft play shapes that can be used as giant jigsaw pieces to make the numbers 1-9 as well as in many creative ways to make private spaces, adventurous landscapes, hide and seek or just something to lean on while you read in peace or chat with a friend.
The facebook page we used as project space is still in action and we look forward to hearing about the new Artmongering projects that the students who got involved get to happen.
See more pictures here picsfrombakuforweb