Artist to transform neglected building into art
An international artist is transforming a run-down building into a work of art for a community project organised by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA).
Jaakko Mattila has travelled from his native Finland to work with young people from Sandy Hill Detached Youth Project in Farnham during April.
The unique assignment was organised by staff at UCA's James Hockey & Foyer Galleries who wanted to create a community project for Jaakko around his major exhibition there last year.
Jaakko, who graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art at UCA Farnham in 2001, said: "I am very excited about this project. Art, like sport, brings people together: it educates them about cultural and social differences, and can enrich peoples' lives. For me, the experience of art - and making it - has been life-changing.
"I have done community art projects in the past that have been very fulfilling, so I thought this was a great idea from the galleries staff at UCA. I love having challenges thrown at me so I am looking forward to seeing how this turns out."
Jaakko and members of the Youth Project will transform the exterior walls of the octagonal hut on Sandy Hill between 17 & 27 April.
Jaakko added: "It's hard to say what the finished mural will look like because I work organically but I'm confident that it will make the building more beautiful and create a livelier space. I hope to connect with the participants and give them a good experience in making a mural."
Christine Kapteijn, UCA Galleries' Curator & Manager, said: "The James Hockey & Foyer Galleries always strive to appeal to a wide variety of audiences – we want to be inclusive and show that art is not just for certain people.
"Jaakko's work personifies this – his paintings attract seasoned art lovers, novices, children and alike. We believe that our commitment to widening participation will help sustain the future of the arts and inspire many people in the community."
Last year, Jaakko became the first graduate of UCA to headline a major solo exhibition at the James Hockey & Foyer Galleries with Lowest Common Denominator, which ran from 7 October to 17 December 2011.
Ahead of that show, he held a series of workshops for pupils from local schools where they got to speak to Jaakko and create their own paintings, using his work as inspiration.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939