Projects archive

Casa Ioana

A first art intervention was conducted at the night shelther in Bucharest - Casa Ioana. The project included workshops with residents and cultural exchanges between Romanian and British artists (from the FreeForm Arts Trust in London). The artistic intervention consisted in a mural painting on the facade of the old communist market in the Brancoveanu area, where the shelter is located.
A second artistic intervention was conducted in the Daycare Center of the same NGO - Casa Ioana Foundation - in June 2006. Three of the volunteer artists in the team painted the facade of the building in the Bucurestii Noi area. The mural painting “unvailing” event was attended by British and Romanian high public figures.

Casa Ioana 1

Casa Ioana project is a joint activity which focuses on social issues. Casa Ioana is a night shelter for homeless people in Bucharest. It was the only of this kind at the time, although the number of such social cases has been growing in the last years in the capital city as well as around the country. In autumn 2005, Casa Ioana already hosted a number of 100 persons, children and adults. The shelter was built in a former market from the communist era, now destined to host homeless people during the night.
Before the fall of 2005, even people living in the Brancoveanu area, where is the shelter is located, did not know of its existence. The appearance of the shelter did not suggest anything about its role. The outside wall was made of glass and painted entirely in white. The general atmosphere was rather cold, bleak and impersonal. Nobody from the neighborhood understood or respected this place in any way.
Between September 19 and October 3, 2005 the Grigore Mora Gallery and FreeForm Arts Trust Foundation in London organised and delivered a public and community art project at Casa Ioana Artists proposed the residents to paint the exterior wall that was entirely white, and to decorate it with motifs that remind of home, family and all that they symbolise. The painting was done on wooden tiles that were glued on the glass wall.
Before the intervention itself, the 8 Romanian artists and the 5 leading British artists delivered a series of workshops with children and adults from the night shelter at Casa Ioana. This way, the residents participated in designing the exterior wall painting, had the opportunity to engage in creative activities that they enjoyed and appreciated. The fact that they directly participated in decorating the space that is their home, at least temporarily, motivated them to respect and preserve the result of this unprecedented collaboration between artists and residents.
This experiment was crucial for the artists of the Grigore Mora Gallery and for the following evolution of the I love Bucharest concept. Noticing the impact and honest interest of those who are part of the shelter, the artists understood d that through their art they can change the aesthetic image of a public space, mentalities and even destinies.
This was the project Casa Ioana 1, followed in the summer of 2006 by a mural painting at the day centre- Casa Ioana 2.

Casa Ioana 2

Following the project held at Casa Ioana – the night shelter in the Brancoveanu area, the artists from the "Grigore Mora" Gallery were called to help decorate the new space dedicated to homeless people and their daily activities. This new space was located in the Bucurestii Noi area, near Masca Theatre. It was the day centre where homeless people could carry out daily domestic activities (washing clothes, ironing etc.), they could work (some of them make baskets for sale), they could play table tennis or various other games, read the newspapers to look for a job etc…
Being a day center, the theme of the artistic intervention was related strictly to activities that residents can do here. The painting on the exterior wall was conceived so that it links the “outside” and the “inside”- the intimacy of a typical home. The windows, as central theme of the project, allow to see through the imagined life inside this public space.
Painting the wall (made of concrete, over which wooden plates were glued) was carried out with encouragement and sometimes verbally aggressive reactions, since the people in this area were not accustomed to such actions and felt as giving their own connotations and ideas upon the intended artwork. (A new project idea was born as a result: “MINE”. The project will be developed in one of the city’s neighbourhood.)
The unvailing event took place on July 7, 2006, in the presence of several Romanian VIPs, Great Britain officials and European Union representatives in Romania.

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Casa Ioana 1


MORA Foundation
Free Form Arts Trust


Avrig 35