Artistic creation is not a luxury

( text by Enrique Giner de los Rios )

Artistic creation is not a luxury, or at least it shouldn’t be. It is important to think of colours and shapes, to communicate using abstract sounds and textures, and to create personal means of expression through them. We often forget the importance of art: Sometimes we don’t have the necessary tools or we simply don’t know how make it. It is something we must not forget and we should make it available for everyone to see.

The creative process is paramount for the success of the workshop and of all participants, not least for the guiding artists. The importance of the experience is not only the material object that evolves, but also the everlasting way of understanding life. There are great benefits to be gained from the collaboration of artists and communities. The material outcomes are extremely interesting works of art, and it is imperative to share them with other people. Once a set of workshops ends, the art pieces are shown in exhibitions where these unique processes are reflected on.

These outstanding creations have a double significance: On one hand, they are worthy of being showcased. On the other, the proceeds from online or exhibit sales allows unu O unu to further replicate this incredible creative process with more participant workshops and to donate to collaborating organisations. The project aims to grow by disseminating the experience worldwide. Working with artists from different disciplines and special interest groups enhances the creative capacities of everyone involved. The world needs to improve its social and artistic weaving capacities to become an inclusive and harmonic place, where inventiveness is one of its central traits.

For German photographer and founder Daniel Sannwald, art has always been the vessel through which he understands the world and expresses himself. It has always been one of his priorities to share this vision with others, not only through his artistic practice but also through teaching.  Daniel has been giving art classes to people living with physical disabilities and autistic children since he was very young and has also worked with senior citizens, making very good friends along the way. Workshops at renowned art universities are also common practice to him.

Acknowledging the social importance of these creative processes led him to develop unu O unu, a non-profit organisation, where artists make workshops for diverse groups in society. unu O unu means “one – unity” in Esperanto. The relevance of unity and creativity in our social web is represented by a knitted basket composed of different strings of artistic expression, and it also represents the creation of a universal artefact.

The potential lies in art

( text by Igor Ramírez García-Peralta )

We’re all here with a story, one we can’t deny and which is written into our DNA. A story that makes us the tenants of a tiny little sliver of the world we’re standing on. You, dear reader, are currently looking at this text and I’d like to assume that it got there because you have not only a certain curiosity, but above all sensibility. In fact, I will take that for granted and write directly to that sensibility; a glimpse of hope in a world that is thawing, flooding, drying up and burning in equal measure just as a dormant and dreamless society is on the verge of repeating its same old harmful mistakes.

We have to put a stop to this. We have to wake up from this lethargic state and give the world an eye-opening laugh, we have to take its breath away with the shock that the beauty of art can provoke. Art has always been an escape valve, an alternative and a remedy for the ills of the world. No matter how much we reinvent it and reinterpret it, how much we push its boundaries and broaden its meaning, art will always seek to feel, provoke and in some cases console. Art is everlasting life; it’s humanity’s most beautiful heirloom to itself and also its most sincere legacy. In it lies a piece of history, the fin-gerprints of who we were and the enormous and overwhelming potential of what we could become.

That potential resides in the moment of artistic creation, in using the body to form another and in creating something, which may provide psychological, interpersonal, economic, cultural and social benefits, but its most elevated purpose is still to transmit feelings and provoke emotional responses.  It’s in this moment of creation, where unu O unu inserts itself, gathering individuals who most likely never would have met otherwise. Their joint creations have ended up on these pages and they present the result of a sincere, open and unprejudiced dialogue between two people, who have done nothing more than share their stories, convinced that even though they may define our place at this very moment, they have little to do with who we can become and how far we can go.

One – Unity

( text by Bettina Köhler )

Our life.  We strongly wish it to be succesful. We wish for friendship, love, respect, health and a fulfilling  occupation. We know that bitterness, hate, egotism, greed, idleness and silence do prevent life from being a success. And our intuition tells us, that we are not the sole owners of “our” life. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the Facebook account we carefully manage, and even our thoughts, our emotions and our moods: we share, rather than own the air, our emotions and moods.

We share. So much. But are we aware of the people and do we sense with whom we share air and water? With whom – apart from family and near friends – do we share feelings of fear towards strangers and fear of illness and ostracism? We share. So much. But we often share passively. What would it be like if that feeling changed? What if we felt stronger, happier and more alive because we shaped our sharing experiences, and became more active? With its strong impact on senses and soul at present, artistic endeavour and design can trigger thinking and imagination, which are effective in the long run. Without knowing exactly how, art can change emotions, moods and thoughts. We share.

Unu O unu brings together artists from different parts of the world with social groups. Together they create a product and idea that lasts. The artists guide and accompany these people through the artistic design process, leading to something more than just visible artefacts and products. Something the artist Josef Beuys called “Social Plastic”. This “Social Plastic” is generated by the clash between the vastly different world of the artists and that of the “others.” Sharing the act of artistic design creates this new social and aesthetic form. It is invisible, yet perceptible and palpable. The dynamics of this form provide a feeling of togetherness and unity.
In his philosophical treatise Ethics, Baruch Spinoza wrote: “Joy is the transition of man from a lesser state of completeness to a higher one.” Activity is for Spinoza a main requirement for such a transformation. Unu O unu interests come into play just at that moment. The project is engaged for a process that opens up new dimensions for every individual being involved. And this endeavour has an increasingly strong resonance. For a fulfilling life.