Art in public spaces has a huge impact on communities; it can bring joy, it can inspire, and it can encourage creativity.
This is the hope behind Italian artist Millo’s latest work, ‘The Power of Imagination’, created on the wall of Kremenchuk Juvenile Penitentiary as part of The Back to School Ukraine project.
This project was initiated by Founder of Sky Art Foundation, Dmytro Palienko, and strives to bring more bright colours to the inmates everyday life with the help of street art. The artwork encourages the inmates to develop their own potential, both in painting and in other activities. Who knows, maybe one day, we will see murals created by these teenagers on buildings?
The creation of the mural was made possible by UNICEF Ukraine, which helped to implement a program for promoting tolerance and preventing conflicts and hate crimes called ‘Building a Future Together’ at six juvenile detention facilities in Ukraine.
Under this program, UNICEF provided education and prevention services on children’s rights, tolerance, positive approach to life and leadership in-order to relieve tension and limit conflicts amongst the youth.
Training of 46 staff of the juvenile facilities and 168 young people enabled more than 2,000 juveniles at the pre-trial detention centres to receive knowledge and skills under ‘Building Future Together’ program.
Art, expressed through painting, is one of the components of UNICEF’s activities that seek to build tolerance, rehabilitation, unity and mutual understanding amongst teenagers.
It is expected that due to participation in such events, juveniles and young people develop their creativity using their artistic imagination to express their emotions and feelings. This is critical for the rehabilitation of vulnerable groups of teenagers.
‘The Power of Imagination’ is painted in Millo’s unique black and white style, with bright coloured details added to emphasise central parts of the piece. Here we see a boy sitting in a wooden plane, which he constructed himself to emphasise that a child’s fantasy is limitless and everyone can choose any path in life and to become a pilot, plane engineer or astronaut.
“The power of imagination is a key to never stop dreaming and encouraging the development of our own potential. The power of imagination is that force, that guides us to follow our inner dreams and having trust in the possibilities of life. I create this wall with the aim of giving hope and strength to all of those are leaving a difficult journey” – Millo.
Find more of Millo’s work here
Photos by Victoria Levchanovskaya