The Year Of The Roses

Mikael Eskilsson reveals all about a new competition

A new international wellbeing initiative has originated in Beeston. It will bring together the works of creative people from all over the world, centred around roses. It encourages everyone from schoolchildren to experienced artists to participate.

Why the rose? Marysia Zipser, founder of ACT (one of the organizations behind the initiative), sees the rose as a sign of hope and a symbol that encourages endurance during difficult times, such as the pandemic we are collectively going through at the moment. Or as she eloquently puts it: “The rose is a sign for hope for the future. Because after the thorns, we need the roses.”

The project is based on the idea that if you only need to submit images of anything with roses, then almost anyone can participate. So regardless if it is a single rose that is growing in your back garden, or a multitude of award-winning roses in a public garden, it is your image of it that is being sent in. It can also be representations of roses painted on a canvas, or paper, or even a rose inspired design object.

There has even been a whole song composed and recorded for the initiative, with an accompanying video. Local musician Jeanie Barton got inspired when she heard about the project and in a state of creative excitement wrote a song that has now become the anthem of the project. “I got inspired by the resemblance between roses and us during this pandemic we must endure, so much strength coming from something so fragile.”

And in a chain of creativity, that song inspired Italian artist and writer Roberto Alborghetti to create a video to accompany the song. He explains that: “This video is my creative work, like paintings, books or photos, so I’ve made it in total freedom. This is my personal way to see roses and to show Jeanie’s theme song in the best way. The sharing of our roses in all their forms will spread a message that will help us to overcome difficult moments together.”

So what will happen to all the images that will be sent in? During the length of the project, which stretches to the beginning of autumn, submitted images will be spread through the channels of ACT and OKAY Italy (the other organization behind the initiative). Afterwards there will be a book, a video film, an online exhibition and finishing with a public outdoor event right here in Beeston.

A lot of people see a connection between creativity and wellbeing. This goes for both sides of creativity, both for the viewer and the creator. We are also longing for belonging and connection to other people at the moment. Hopefully projects like this can help people get inspired to create and spread the sense of wellbeing that comes with it to others.

To enjoy the rose song and video, search Youtube for ‘the year of the roses 2021 theme’

Do you or any group you belong to want to contribute with images? Send them in here: www.artculturetourism.co.uk/yearoftheroses2021

ME

Image by Inna Schutts

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