Due to the political crisis between Russia and the Ukraine that turned into a war and a humanitarian disaster in the East European country, our school decided to become part of the project „Signs of Hope“, introduced by a charitable organization.
According to the project description, the participating religious education classes from Mr. Wimmer had to fulfill the assignment of painting a heart crosswise onto a blank sheet of paper by using colored pencils, markers, chalks or other types of pens that came to their mind. In addition to that compulsory task, the students were encouraged to draw signs of peace, flags and simple letters as well. Most common were the peace symbol, the Ukrainian (honestly, many teenagers had to look up the colors of its stripes in advance), the Austrian and the European flag.
After a few lessons of painting (at least it felt like that for some students), more than 70 wonderful, unique paintings could be collected by the teachers and prepared for the final working step by punching 8 holes into each of the sheets, 4 at each longitudinal edge. Finally, they were spread onto a few desks in order to sew them into five columns with 14 paintings in each of them. Although a great amount of tape could have been used instead, we decided onto saving resources by avoiding the usage of plastic and that is why a string was used. Thanks to some students from classes 6a and 7a for sewing and their patience with our improvised needles (that were made out of laminating film).
On Thursday, March 10th, 2022, after some concluding preparations in the morning, we could proudly hang up our masterpiece in front of the St. Nepomuk’s statue in front of St. Michael’s church next to our school building. While gathering some interested glances from spectators like pedestrians, car drivers and even people inside an urban bus, we tried not to destroy the drawings when pulling the sheets up to the railing (impressions of that process can be seen in the attached pictures) and were able to succeed. In the end, we could happily tie knots and our masterpiece even remained there for a few hours.
In representation for all participants that were involved into that unusual, but outstanding arts project, it can be stated that we are all trying to give our best in fighting against the violence in the Ukraine by donating for the affected people (https://brgsteyr.at/new/2022/03/04/aktion-fuer-die-ukraine-brg-spendet/) and hoping that the war will end soon, according to the slogan „There is always hope“.
written by Michael Himmelbauer (class 7a)
fotocredit: (c) by Sarah Diregger [featured image, picture 1] and Lena Oberreiter [pictures 2-4] (both: class 6a)