Artists are now creating thought provoking pieces for the least expected locations, your couch. e Pillow Talk Cause project launched in September 2017 to start discussions on issues part of our society. Founder Saliah Bryan used cushions because she believes that they are the centre piece of a room. “I imagined this space where somebody would walk into a room and see these really big and colourful illustrations and think ‘Wow, what a positive image!’ Instantly, you would think it’s a positive thing but actually it reflects on something that’s really quite serious and something we should be caring quite more, raising money and awareness. So, each artist produces a limited edition series of cushions to reflect a cause they care about”.
Half Lebanese, half English, Bryan moved to the UK at the age of seven. e Pillow Talk Cause project was created a er the designer’s response to the theme of transition for an art exhibition curated by Reconnecting Arts, a platform that supports emerging Middle Eastern artists. Bryan said that she had to design something with purpose, since, at the time, the refugee crisis was at its peak. Since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011, 5.2 million Syrian refugees have been displaced in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, according to the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), 2017 progress report. e designer said that moving to the UK from the Middle East was difficult. “So I can’t imagine having to deal with the transition whilst dealing with trauma of knowing my home was being destroyed.
Saliah Bryan designed 6 cushions, each with a different name and meaning. A er researching charities, the designer decided to collaborate with the Human Care Syria because she said “it would make a huge di erence [as] they’re such a small charity and they really focus on speci c objectives”.
“Of course, it helps” is what Sarah from Human Care Syria who worked with the designer said. Bryan brought a new way of raising funds to the charity. She also introduced them to a new platform. Troughout this project, the charity has been able to reach a new audience, the creative community. e designer’s series for the PillowTalkCause supports mainly refugees from Syria in camps in Europe and especially Turkey. On November 16th, 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees registered 3,320,814 Syrian refugees in Turkey.
The three issues Bryan is aiming to raise most awareness and money for are: orphans, women’s sanitation and a starting initiative which was art therapy for the people in these camps. “I really wanted from this cause is so the money creates a huge amount of impact. It’s not a case of we’re just donating money and it only affects a couple of people. I wanted it to make a real change and prove that design and creativity can be a cause for difference and it can really create an impact”, is what the designer created this project for.
Bryan introduces herself as a designer on a mission to highlight the power of design for social change. When asking her what should people take away from the cushions, she answered that everyone has the power to make progress, not just creatives. “We all have a responsibility, and we can all do better. Sharing awareness, reading about what’s happening, expanding your knowledge in order to pass that onto others is still progress”.
Check out more of the designs here: The Pillow Talk Cause.