Together with our artist Smile and the Municipality of Seixal, in Portugal, we had the chance to get to know “Robin Rescue”. Not only did we meet him, but we watched him grow step by step.
As most of the projects, the idea was the first thing to be born. It came first from Alexandra Arnaut, from the Social Development and Citizenship Department of this Municipality around Lisbon. The intention was, most of all, to bring some color and joy to Bairro da Cucena, a poor neighborhood in Seixal, often identified with social and segregation challenges.
Who is “Robin Rescue”?
“Robin Rescue” is the title given to the artwork created by Smile together with the Municipality of Seixal. It took three days for the piece to be finished and Smile tells us how he decided to accept this project because of its impact on the neighborhood. In conclusion, apart from being magnificent, the message behind this mural is the most important thing. Together with Smile and Alexandra Arnaut, we tried to find out more about this project with a big heart.
“Unfortunately, Art is never a priority”
What was your biggest challenge?
Smile: The biggest challenge was the dimension of the surface when you compare it to the time I had to finish it.
Alexandra: Unfortunately, Art is never a priority. And this was my biggest challenge: to convince people that social interventions using Art are necessary.
What is the impact of projects like this?
Smile: The impact is gigantic on the people who live there and start to appreciate the place where they live. The biggest impact is coming from the message I want to spread which is the fact that we can never do anything alone in life. Every child wants to be a super hero, but in life, you always need someone to help you. In this painting, there is Robin and Batman helping him. They are friends and the painting was made in a street called “Friendship Street”. Everything is connected.
Alexandra: You can feel the impact immediately. There were people bringing their chairs and sitting down to watch Smile painting. It was incredible! Everyone wanted the same to happen on their own building. The dream, the togetherness and the message are the most important things and they have the biggest impact.
Is there a lack of projects like this one?
Smile: Yes! However, many municipalities in Portugal have been supporting projects like this because of its social
and visual impact.
Alexandra: I believe that step by step, the interest is growing. Thankfully 🙂
Which was the most special moment during the days of the painting?
Smile: It’s always the last day, when people show us the love and talk about our painting. We feel like we have done a good job when the children around us just want to help.
Alexandra: Definitely the way people reacted to this action. At the beginning they had their doubts, but by the end, they could not have been more receptive and joyful. It was truly amazing.
Would you repeat the experience?
Alexandra: Absolutely! This project exceeded all my expectations. It could not have been better.
Projects like this one speak directly to our hearts and can truly prove that Art can move mountains. We could not be prouder nor more inspired. If you think you still need more inspiration, you can also find another great example where Art and Solidarity were friends right here.
If you want to maximize the impact of your ideas or you wants us to share more inspirational stories, get in touch.