This weekend three Jersey artists, plus a filmmaker leave for a Refugee Camp near Veria in Greece, where through the Guernsey charity Bridge2, they will be supervising refugees in the production of small artworks. These artworks are being brought back to the island where they will be teamed with a Jersey artist and/or poet, who will make a response to the work in the form of poetry, a painting or artwork forming a frame, signifying teamwork and joint effort.
The finished works will be displayed in the Berni Gallery, at the Arts Centre, from the 5th June to the 1st July to coincide with Refugee Week (19th to 25th June), the theme this year is “Our Shared Futures”. The plan is for the art works to be auctioned in aid of Jersey Cares: Refugee Aid Group (JCRAG) and Bridge2. A series of cultural and inclusive events celebrating diversity is being coordinated by the Jersey Cares; Refugee Aid group taking place in and around Refugee Week. They will be publishing a full programme of events nearer the time.
The artists, who have planned this project are Ian Rolls, Lizi Hill and Maria Tarrant. They have been joined by Aurelie Boas, a film maker, who will record the project and show the film during Refugee Week.
Ian Rolls is a Jersey artist, who specialised in art restoration, but always continued to produce his own artworks alongside restoring. Since 2000 he has been a full time artist, he explained what he hopes to achieve from the trip “This is a chance to make a positive connection, through
art, to those who are in a very difficult situation and from a very different culture. Maria, Lizi and I have a strong belief in the value of creativity, and its ability to bridge gaps, heal wounds, aid communication and not least generate fun! We are very grateful to the Jersey Arts Trust and Jersey Arts Centre for their support, we are very excited to be part of Refugee Week organised by Jersey Cares; Refugee Aid Group”.
Lizi Hill came to Jersey in 2010. Previously, she was an “early years” teacher but in Jersey studied and gained her Art Degree and now works as an artist and sculptor. Her aim is “to be a fountain not a drain”.
Maria Tarrant is Artist in Residence at Highlands College, and has a background in biological science. Maria is of Greek origin, so will be a great asset on the trip with her language skills.
Aurelie Boas is a film maker, who has taken on projects for Oxfam and Save the Children in camps on the Gaza Strip and with the underprivileged in Katmandu. In London she she has worked for art galleries and museums producing arts videos and in Jersey, where she has lived for just six months, was asked to make a video of the exhibition “Paper Dialogue”.
The project has been funded by the Jersey Arts Trust. Materials have been donated by the Arts and Media Department at Highlands College. The Jersey Arts Centre is providing the use of the Bernie Gallery free of charge.