EMPATHY – European Modern Painting History


Grundtvig Learning Partnership, 2011-2013

Project coordinator:
Space Today UK Ltd.

Partner countries
UK, Austria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Spain

Target group

The Empathy project aimed at supporting social inclusion of people who, because of old age, lack of material resources or living in rural areas have limited access to culture. In particular, the project was addressed to those living outside large cultural centres and have only basic education or little experience of travelling abroad.

Project Objectives

  • to explore how engaging in arts based activities supports personal development and social inclusion
  • to identify at least two early modern paintings to form the foundation for local group art activities
  • to encourage learners to develop a personal art journal to record their emotional engagement with their learning
  • to exchange extracts of journals between learners using a series of newsletters translated into partner languages
  • to organize transnational workshops with staff and learners creating a group mural in each partner country
  • to inspire participants through cultural visits to art centres in each partner country


Paintings by local artists became the basis for art workshops, during which we paid special attention to sensitising our listeners to the concept of “empathy” by encouraging them to write personal diaries, in which they described their feelings related to the experience of art and experience of own artistic work and travel abroad, in the form of free notes containing reflections and comments, and even poetic impressions. Fragments of learners’ diaries were then placed in newsletters and exchanged between countries during international meetings, to be inspirations for other participants. During the seven international meetings trainers and learners got acquainted with the culture of other European countries, shared their experiences and painted together a mural – one in each country. Some of the events were filmed which can be seen as a summary of the project.


  1. Jan Ulrik

    13 August 2014

    Hi Lukasz,

    I think this project seems very clear, and that quit important for this kind of international projects. I started thinking of the In between Out project: http://artescom, because it looks like the ‘visiting programme’ part of the project was a quit important outcome.

    Do you have any links to a project website or the films? I’m also curios about the results. How did those activities influence the participants? Has anyone continued this work?

    This was a great teaser – I hope to have a link.


    • Lukasz

      18 August 2014

      Well, yes, it looks like the part based on common work of people from different countries makes these two projects similar. But on the other hand, art is “used” here in two completely different contexts – EMPATHY was designed for people who have very negligible contact with art, when main beneficiaries of “In between Out” were artist, who, as I suppose are “submerged” in art.
      We can use similar tools in different situation. Nice.

      There: is the film from the project. This is also a link to project website – unfortunately not in english, but I couldn’t find any.

      See you

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