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Yanka Smetanina

 artist  |  researcher  | curator 

A  bit of warmth

The project was implemented with the support of Stella Art Foundation gallery for the exhibition "Takeda. Pain and Will". The project "Takeda. Art/Help was conceived to raise awareness about palliative care and to remind everyone through art about compassion for others. And thus the importance of helping someone who suffers from pain and loneliness. The example and experiences of others have the strongest impact on us. In the stressful situation we can remember all those who are worse off than we are at that moment, so as not to indulge in deconstructive self-pity, and all those who have found the strength to overcome circumstances, to build on those strengths and to be inspired. I built my project on the real words of people who find the strength to smile even in the face of death. I would come to the Degunino Hospice, meet and talk to patients and ask them the same question - "What makes you happy? I asked them to remember at least one happy moment, not from a 'past' life before the illness, but from this life, now. When all your energy is spent on survival, when your body is exhausted by medication, when many things are no longer important. In any case, there is at least one moment when you are happy about something. The sun, a loved one, autumn leaves or a cat that has come to you. It was at that moment that I asked them to focus. And yes, the results of the survey struck me. Not because I heard any unusual words, but rather, somehow, the predictable and expected consistency struck me. Pets, loved ones, books, kind words - these are the things that can bring a little happiness and warmth in a difficult moment. It's that simple. And sometimes that's not enough... In the wake of the conversations, I painted pictures depicting a moment of happiness that is different for everyone. 2017. Stella Art Foundation. Moscow. Russia.

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