“Sing me to Sleep” is a journey through a fairy-tale forest, a homeless life. It is a conversation between diverse people, from different countries, cultures and experiences. It is work of many hands. This project draws attention to the importance of the creative arts in the lives of people who are on the margins of society.
The exhibition of the project “Sing me to Sleep“ was opened in the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius on September, 2016. Some of the elements of the exhibition are going to be brought to the Bury Art Museum in Greater Manchester. In a place far away it will continue sharing things regardless of distance – the fairy-tales, of artistic creation and of homelessness.
Here, on our website we seek to tell the Vilnius exhibition story for those, who didn’t have a chance to see it.
“Sing me to Sleep” – is an invitation to put on the shoes of a homeless person, open one‘s ears to the stories that are experienced, dreamt or imagined, and...take a walk.
The walk is a time and place to discover another person. If you wish to take a walk together – you will not surpass and lag behind your fellow. The “walkers” share the rhythm, the path, the time, the weather and the movement in space. It gives a moment to talk, to listen and to hear. The connection is built. “Sing me to sleep” offers us a closer look and connection with another person, into the life of someone who is homeless, which most of us are not aware of.
This connection is fragile and one needs patience to build it.
Organiser – NGO “Socialiniai meno projektai”.
Artists: Eglė Gudonytė, Ieva Petkutė, Lois Blackburn, Philip Davenport (arthur+martha) ir kt.
Main partners: The British Council, National Gallery of Art / Lithuanian Art Museum, arthur+martha, „The Tiltas Trust“.
Media Partner – 15 min.
Partners: Vilniaus arkivyskupijos „Caritas“, „The Booth Center“, „Skalvija“ cinema centre, Manchester Metropolitan University (Arts for Health), UAB “Petro ofsetas“, UAB “Media Traffic“, Vilnius city tourism information centre, bernardinai.lt, kur.lt.
Project in Lithuania supported by: The Lithuanian Council for Culture, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.
As we walk and live, we meet people.
Most often we meet them just for a minute. But some people stay on our path a little longer and we walk a little further together.
The journey leads through the forest, to the next day, towards home.
Fairy-tale – not-a-fairy-tale
Storytellings by Aleksas, Anastasija Kielaitė, Andrejus Kibisovas, Liuda, Petras Ribačiauskas, Rimgaudas, Sigitas, Veronika Gražina.
As there was nothing to eat at home, the parents of Hans and Gretel, took their children to the forest and left them there. They thought “rather two of us survive than all four starve to death.” The children were looking for the way out of the forest… and they approached the candy house of the witch.
As we talked about the fairy-tale, Edvardas said. “I am drawing a church. I am sorry. I am drawing a church. This is my home.“
Liuda, as she was getting to the end of her re-telling of the fairy-tale “Puss in Boots”: “... and the patron regained his name, and of how he will have his name restored. He will afford to take care of his family, his and his children’s health.“
Handwriting by Nerijus Viržintas. The story by Liuda.
“If my life is a fairy-tale, the dark forest in my life is the alcohol, the absence of a place to live, of a family and close people. The dragon in my life is all the evil that is chasing me in life. In my life the reward is my faith in all the good. The most important – in the Almighty and the Guardian Angel.”
Handwriting and text by ЧЦК.
Fairy-tale – not-a-fairy-tale.
Storytellings by Liuda, Sigitas and Veronika Gražina. Singing by Veronika Gražina. Readings by Jack and Phil Barraclough. Readings by Jack, Phil Barraclough. The birdsongs are recorded at the children of St Luke's Primary School, Bury.
This quilt has many stories stitched into it. Like friendship, it becomes deeper as you get closer. When seen from a distance, it is a snapshot of a woodland. But come closer, and you'll see birds and flowers, even snowflakes. Come closer still, and you see that there are people, their words echoing the shapes of the branches and dancing in mid-air. And when you're near enough to touch it, you can see the marks that people have made, individual stitches from quiet afternoons in a homeless centre in Manchester. A few hours of respite from chaotic lives. A safe place to dream, a fairy tale.
The forest is full of sounds… and every, even the smallest creatures or the dwellers, adds a distinctive sound. There are no two identical voices.
During the opening of the exhibition the participants of the project along with the sound artists performed a unique performance. Unique things happen just once.
For a story to be heard, we need silence. A quiet room, or the white space on a written page. Silence allows for quiet words, the subtle signs of life. It is in the songs of birds, it gifts us with the pleasure of sleep, a time for stories to be told, while noise is left outside.
Homelessness feed on the noise.
The contributors to the exhibition:
Joan Campbell (Sarah)