Art

Heliopolis Youth Culture

The art section of Heliopolis Youth Culture provides an opportunity for young adults to engage effectively with arts and culture, through which they can discover alternative ways of thinking, expressing and interacting. This art program, which targets teenagers aged 14-19, offers a neutral ground for the participants to uninhibitedly explore their relationship with the arts, and escape the usually stressful routine that often defines their lives, especially at this age.

HYC thus aims to create and deliver intriguing and creative art projects that effectively engage teenagers and young adults.

The first phase of the Art Program commenced its activities in 2021 with a Mural Art Project titled “We are all a piece of the bigger picture.”

For the evolving older members will include beside the graphic hands-on part, an introduction to the philosophy of shapes and colors, as well as an introduction to ancient and sacred art.

Language: English
Age: 18+ (Adults)

Phase 1

Collaborative Mural Project

This is a collaborative project, where participants were encouraged to express their personal and emotive responses to current global issues through drawing (under the motto “Unmask your Heart”), based on a critical reflection and discussion around contemporary artworks dealing with similar issues. It has culminated in a large, puzzle-shaped public mural, in which each participant added a piece of their own self and voice, as a way towards achieving a common goal and of reaching out to the whole community through art.

Focusing on current global issues that are discussed through social media and visual culture in general, participants were encouraged to critically think, analyze and interpret facts and debates related to these issues without the influence of the internet as an information filtering mechanism.

This allowed them to freely express their own perspectives and interpretations of these issues within an artistic framework, and in this way commence on the emotive culture journey envisaged by HYC.

Such a program begins by exploring the conceptual aspects that will consequently inform art-making during the next steps, providing common ground for participants to research, discuss, and evaluate both intellectually and emotively the relevant information. The project culminates in a collaborative public artwork, that showcases the participants’ research and personal understanding of the concept, while also encouraging constructive exchange of ideas, skills, and techniques.

Finally presenting their ideas through an artwork that is highly accessible to the wider public potentially confronts the community at large with issues lurking within it that are usually avoided or understated; in this way teenagers become active in bringing emotive awareness to adults, which is the first step towards positive change in any community.

The Mural

We are all a piece of the bigger picture

The puzzle-structured mural brings together all the pieces that are eventually joined to form a bigger picture, embodying the notion that we are all part of the problem but we can all become part of the solution. The idea of the puzzle is also a way to express visually the importance of collaboration as an effective way of building up towards a certain goal or mission, allowing each person to bring in a piece of their own self to the project. The yellow hues in the backdrop are the hues of the Sun, the Helios of Hope.

The Mural “We are all a Piece of the Bigger Picture” has been created by the visual artist Despina Petridou, who graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA Fine Art degree and an MScR Collections and Curating Practices degree.
Evanthia Aresti
(BA Fine arts degree and MA Fine & Applied arts practice from the University of Hertfordshire) was the assistant project director.

Sequence of Project execution:

Week 1

Brainstorming / Discussion
Interpreting the relationship between art practices and global issues by using the work of other artists to provide a frame of reference and influence.

Week 2&3

Preparation
Preparation: Based on the previous discussion, converting ideas and concepts into preliminary artwork form on paper.

Week 4 to 8

Puzzle Execution

Distributing the puzzle pieces and media, and surveying the execution of the pieces.

Week 9&10

Assemblage

In this stage professional carpentry assistance is usually required.

Art Gallery