The idea for the light artwork arose in the supermarket, De Jong says. He bumped into Sima Keijzers-Puodziute, who is the community manager of innovation Space. The war in Ukraine hit her close to home, since she’s from Lithuania. “I went to protests and made donations, but I also wanted to do something symbolic at innoSpace,” she says. De Jong, in turn, felt the strong need to show support and solidarity to those affected by the war, and was looking for a way to express that.
That need led to the creation of a light artwork of yellow and blue hearts in the stairwell of innovation Space. Passers-by draw the hearts on a tablet, which is to be found on the first floor of the building. Every heart that’s drawn appears on the wall. Where the blue and yellow drawings overlap, they turn white. “That represents hope and peace,” De Jong explains.
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Innovation Space supports the project by offering a location and materials, says Madis Talmar, who is program manager for extracurricular learning. As an Estonian, also he is extra upset about what’s happening in Ukraine. “Everyone is starting to get back to their daily routine, while the war is still ongoing. This artwork is a way to keep people aware of what is happening.”
Talmar happy with how fast De Jong managed to set up his team. “The war developed fast, so we also had to act fast with this temporary student team. It’s good to see that we were able to make it work,” Talmar says. According to him, the stairwell in innovation Space is the perfect location for the project. “Everyone who has to be in this building passes by this location every day. It’s like a Stairway to Heaven.”
Last Thursday the team of Collecting Compassion put the finishing touches on the project. Team member Katja van Weert did a final check on how the visuals turned out. Frank Hartman added some last lines to his code. De Jong put together a list of all the little problems that still needed a solution.
For two weeks, the team members put everything else aside to make this artproject work out well. And it did, according to De Jong. “Everything works. Now I just hope that in the coming four weeks, these individual sweet yellow and blue drawings will grow into one big white surface.” Everyone is welcome to come and draw a heart in the stairwell.