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December 27, 2016



The project Art Space is one of rare occasions when a process is important not a result. The Bonum Factum Gallery hosts the art laboratory for inmates of ‘SOS – Children’s Villages of Uzbekistan.’ The young people will soon present to the public the performance ‘Alice in Wonderland’, on which they are working for about four months.

It all began with the usual painting…

“In the SOS – Children’s Villages of Uzbekistan Association, where I have been working for six years, I got noticed the watercolor paintings created by Anastasia. She attends the art studio, and very good at drawing,” says psychologist Feruza Kadirkhodjaeva. “These heartfelt paintings touched the heart of the director of the Bonum Factum Art Gallery Shahnoza Karimbabayeva, who invited the young artist in the gallery, where she acquainted her future with mentors – well-known artists. Successes of Anastasia prompted the idea of ​​creating the art laboratory for children, where they can give vent to emotions, bring out their creative potential.

The idea, supported by caring people, turned into a big, amazing project. The Swiss Cooperation Office of the Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan provided financial assistance. The young people in this interactive creative laboratory while getting prepared for a play are learning to become actors, writers, artists, musicians and make-up artists at the same time. They learn to work in a team, be responsible and proactive.

Children visit the Gallery with great pleasure. Just in a couple of hour they enable to cover all the directions provided by the project. Together with teachers they draw, sing, work on the scenes of the play, and make each other up. Acting, plastique, work on the script, and direction are led by Rustam Esanov. Suhrob Nazimov and DALAHAST group introduce them the world of music, rhythm and listening. Paintings and graphics the project attendees learn together with artists Tatiana Lee, Sergey Abaturov. Stage decorations are created by the young people during the master classes conducted by Dilyara Kaipova. And Saida Daminova introduces young ladies to the art of creating makeup for theatrical productions.

“We do not force anyone to participate in the project. That is the point. The young people hugely interested in the process and attract in it their friends. Many of them enabled to demonstrate their talents. For example, a modest and shy Zarina started singing beautifully. It turned a true surprise. Aziz has a good sense of rhythm, and now he is playing the percussions,” emphasizes Feruza Kadirkhodjaeva. “Now we can see the burning eyes of children, and they even stop feeling ill. I see that they are happy here. But the preparation of the performance – not only games and fun. They have learned to focus and perform the tasks assigned by the director.”

“Our classes are the process of cognition of life, a kind of journey to the inner world. After all, art is the part of human life,” says Tatiana Lee. “Our goal is to decorate the performance – from image creation to certain scenes. I think it is wrong to use the word ‘teach’ in this case. It is, rather, co-creation, when I am just helping their ideas to take the right direction that is interesting to bоth the young people and mentors. The inner world of the child is reflected in the paintings. Even I can not draw like them. They have their vision, they think in their own way, extraordinarily. I give them the opportunity to express themselves freely. This contributes to their disclosure, personal maturation.”

And the Gallery for those few hours of preparations for the performance is filled with children’s laughter, singing, and music.

“Couple of years ago our Omnibus band developed a training that we use in all of our educational programs, which is aimed at bringing out the creative potential, the development of rhythm, vocals, and so on. But they also have the psychological cause,” says the musician Suhrob Nazimov. “Of course, to do something in such a short period of time is very difficult.” Therefore, the aim of training is to acquaint young people with the art of music. We are already making little progress. If at first they embarrassed, then now they are happy to go on musical rehearsals. Those who come to the premiere will see only a part of what was going on in this lab. Of course, not everything will be included in the play. But these impressions remain long in the memory. I believe that the basis of the project is not the production, but the process. After all, it takes years to give a child any deep knowledge, but those four months together we have spent in the atmosphere of love and kindness. This is the essence of the project for me.”

Perhaps thanks to the Art Space creative laboratory many of the young people will find their calling in life. Already now, some of the participants are determined to continue advancing their skills they received in the project. One thing is for sure: in this project the young people acquired the skills of communication and self-expression, which will help them in their adult life.