Connectedness is the result of a participatory experience as artist-in-residence with a group of seniors at the Pointe-St-Charles Art School. Family heirloom was the map of an exploratory and reflective journey with self as a collective unit creating solace, sharing knowledge and spawning conversation of a lifetime within a space. This compassionate engagement captured memories and expanded self-expression that enabled us to bring together what is valued, pass on what is prized and to keep what has given us comfort.
Artists in Residence: Susan Attafuah-Callender, Julian Duarte, Olivia Siino,
Placement: YMCA Pointe Saint Charles Teen Zone
The piece aims to explore the issues of vulnerability as well as the struggles that were present within the triad that made up our placement: the Teen Zone supervisors, the teens and ourselves (the artists).
This intermedia piece was inspired by the work I’m doing with the Girls Club at the Pointe-Saint-Charles YMCA. One of the things that really struck me about working with these people was the moments of vulnerability I witnessed and was a part of and how hard those moments can be to navigate when it is your first time grappling with such overwhelming experiences. Witnessing these people go through some really tough stuff for (presumably) the first time reminded me of my first forays with my personal struggles. It only felt right for me to reflect on my experience of being these people’s age rather than the things I witnessed because, at least for me, the best way I could communicate with them was to try and remember how it felt to be where they were so as to interact with genuine empathy and relate personally rather than as a distanced “adult”.
Elizabeth Gale- Volunteer Placement at Hand-in-Hand at Saint Columba House in Pointe Saint- Charles
Love Me Tender with music by Elvis Presley, is a self revelatory piece surrounding the past semester of my placement of volunteer work at St. Columba House’s community education program Hand-in-Hand for intellectually challenged, aging adults in the Montreal community in Point St. Charles. Hand-in-Hand provides a caring and accepting environment for the participants to learn autonomy skills and have stability and security in times of their lives where loss of physical abilities and difficult transitions of aging are a part of daily obstacles. I have had the privilege of volunteering in the music program on Wednesday mornings, where we sing classics with guitar and dance to old time favourites.
Blog Post: A community is simultaneously separate individuals and a collective: it is both the plural and the singular at once. This soundscape explores and plays with the voices of the individuals I encountered while my stay at Hand-in-Hand’s choir. It mixes laughter, conversation, tension, anxiety, and finally a melodious union- all things felt both by myself and the members. The soundscape expresses my journey from becoming starting outsider at the St-Columba to becoming a part of a collective- beginning first with anxious tension and ending with a release of
When I told people I was volunteering with a children’s choir, the most common response was “why are you doing this to yourself”. When I told people I was hired at my local Tim Horton’s, the most common response was “good for you”. Ironically, each common response was the opposite of how I personally felt about both experiences. I used this as the inspiration for my piece. By adapting my personal experience into a campfire horror story, I hope to point out the absurdity of demonizing children while many adults do not know how to behave themselves. Shout out to the amazingly talented Helen Park for collaborating with me one the drawings used in the piece.
Artist Residency – St.Columba House Head Start Program
Through theatre, I find a remedy. Because of its flexible nature, theatre offers so many possibilities. All one needs is a performer and a spectator. Even with a simple setting, theatre can achieve so much. Theatre is an intimate art form to me and I find myself lost and found in the process of my art. Through my art, I can transmit a message, a powerful one too. I always find myself working for and with kids. I strongly believe that kids are sacred. Yes, sacred. With them comes a new generation and there is nothing better then a new generation flourishing with a pinch of sunlight, water, oxygen, and fertile soil. Yes there will be rain, dryness, suffocation, and impotent soil but through theatre, anything can heal.