The ArtSpeaks Project
S.Y. (2017) "The Path To Me." Media: mannequin, acrylics, 3D fabric paint, metallic paint, photographs, found objects. "One of my favourite places to be - the beach. Butterflies in the tummy - new love or sometimes anxiety. A broken heart on the mend. Butterflies lifting me up from the ashes to heal and become who I am meant to be."
S.Y. (2017) "The Path to Me." (back)
Savannah Spencer (2017) "Rebirth." Media: mannequin, acrylics, craft paper, fishing line, found objects, collage. "My higher self is. . . Limitless. Beautiful. Unique. Vibrant. She is the one with the sky, the water, the sun; with God. She believes what she cannot see. She is everything her ego tells her she is not. She is rising, she is blossoming. She is Free. My ego is. . . Stuck. Lost. Afraid. Conditioned. Alone. She doesn't want to acknowledge how beautiful she is; how beautiful life is. She prefers the mud, where it is dark and familiar. She gravitates toward the toxic. She is limited. . . because she believes she is." - Savannah, August 29, 2014. "I'm Not Done Growing." Media: acrylics on canvas. "I'm a Puzzle I never Want to Solve." Media: acrylics on canvas. "Inspiration Board" Media: collage.
K.S.J. (2017) "Untitled." Media: mannequin, acrylic paint, glitter "Our lives are bound to both the light and darkness ...the good and bad...the positive and negative and the yin and yang. Because of this bind, even when you are in the darkest depths of the darkness ... you can always see some light and it will help carry you on. In Trauma we are in darkness... With Healing we become the light... Both worlds will always be a part of us but where we choose to stay is what truly matters. Sometimes moving from the darkness of the past is not about forgiving the situation but about accepting it ... "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible ... is music." Aldous Huxley
The ARTSpeaks Project. "Re-Purposing Trauma." Right Wall.
Candace Johnson (2017) "Hope. Release. Surrender. Strength" Media: collage. "This represents a new beginning. It is to remind me that my thoughts and body are always changing. It is to remind me, NOT to allow my past to define me. It is to remind me that my broken pieces are what make me BEAUTIFUL. I will NOT give power to my past to break me, instead, I will use it to grow. I am the the writer, and this is my story." "Untitled." Media: 2 plastic masks, acrylics, magazines. "Red: My double sided mask is to show what it is like in addiction, and the reality of it. 'There is a story involving my mother.' Purple: As well as to show there is life in recovery. There are always two sides to someone's story."
Yvonne Pulkkinen (2017) "I Know The Sun Shines." Media: acrylics. "My heart has been broken since I was a child. With the help of wonderful people, I am healing. I have always felt that I was being judged by others, but really I was being judges by myself. The sun is shining much brighter in my life." "Don't. . . touch. . . hurt me again. . . make me feel like nothing." Media: mixed media. "In my heart I am still a child, a child who was abused. This led to issues that I am still trying to heal or at least improve. I am winning this fight thanks to the healers I have come in contact with. I love them all." "I Am Opening The Door." Media: mix media.
Billie-Jean (2017) "Be Perfect But Don't Touch." Media: fabric pieces, cellophane, newsprint, mannequin. "Remembrance piece for my experience, sorrow, grief, and joy at spending months in a level 4 maternity ward, where my twin daughters and I approached death daily, for weeks. . . we, by our strength, and a miracle, survived. . . barely, but many others did not. Mothers will endure many things to try to save their child and the processes can be very cold and sterile. The pain, fear and grief you can almost touch. it is a strange club to be a part of, and even now, 20+ years later, it's as fresh and as real as if it were yesterday. For those babies that did not survive - I remember you."
Cylina Burton (2017) "Barren." Media: acrylics, mannequin, found objects, plaster bandages. "Untitled." Media: acrylics on canvas.
Kristie Williamson (2017) "The Darkness That Was." Media: mannequin, acrylics, found objects, photographs, collage. The inspiration board was created to develop ideas about trauma and how it affected her. The inspiration board became the seed for the mannequin, and many of her images were taken from her inspiration board and added to her mannequin.
The ARTSpeaks Project. "Re-Purposing Trauma." Left Wall.
Annette Buzdygan (2017) "Life, Living, Ever Lasting Life." & "Traditions and Memories Inspire Worlds." Media: Encaustics on canvas. "The first triptych depicts the beginning of 'Life' with the innocent child in the mother's womb bearing a halo indicative of innocence and purity; a heart with a pearl (known to keep children safe & symbolize purity, generosity, integrity and loyalty); and a butterfly inspiring hope. 'Living Life' shows images of things that make up life; and 'Everlasting Life' depicts three spirits liked together with a cross in the middle; a butterfly for hope in the life after; and a red heart for pain endured while living. The three pearl hearts in the heart are for the joys experienced while living. The second triptych depicts the difficulties of living; the transitions of working through those difficulties; rewards and results of having done so."
Nancy Featherston (2017) "MMIW." Media: acrylics on canvas.
Karen Crossman (2017) "Trauma to Butterfly. I Have Arrived." Media: mannequin, gemstones, found objects, collage, acrylics, plaster bandages, plastics mask, lights. "Untitled." Media: altered book. "I do not know when mental illness overcame my life. I do know that this is how I feel in my life. Judgement overpowers mental illness. I must speak up. I must be heard."
Cassandra (2017) "Domestic Violence." Media: mannequin, collage, silver paint. "Addiction and Recovery." Media: altered book, collage. "I used collage with words about the consequences of drugs and alcohol, then tools of recovery."
The ARTSpeaks Project. "Re-Purposing Trauma." Centre Right.
Annette Buzdygan (2017) "The Backpack of Trauma." Media: mannequin, collage, fabric, found objects, acrylic paint.
Annette Buzdygan (2017) "The Book of Me -- Who Am I?" Media: altered book. The horoscope theme of this book is relevant as it relates to different personalities. Libra is the sign of this author. Other signs left in the book are of significant others. The molded mask depicts multiples personalities living within one mind. The other symbols are elaborated in the attached script.
Jackie (2017) "Untitled." Media: mannequin, collage, found objects, photographs, acrylic paint. Media:
Jackie (2017) "Inspiration Board." Media: collage, photographs, acrylic paint.
Chantal Benoit (2017) "Meet Miracle My Miracle." Media: acrylic paint, veil, artificial flower, glitter, magazine images, mannequin. This is Miracle, a beautiful, raw representation of how the trauma in my life has affected me and my journey in life thus far. What I wanted people to see when you first looked at Miracle, was her beauty. Just like my mannequin, I too would “mask” with a lot of makeup, big hair, and a lot of shinny accessories. I was covering up everything ugly that I felt inside of me. Those are the black circles painted on her heart and gut. That is where lies all of my fears, anxieties, shame, guilt, sadness, resentments, anger, and pain. The problem was, I went over 30 years of my life before understanding where all these self-destructive feelings came from and why they started before I was even done kindergarten. This is where the carefully placed hand on Miracle’s vagina comes into play. That hand represents broken trust between grandchild and grandparent, it represents years of shame and confusion, it represents hurt; the hand touching Miracle’s vagina represents sexually abused children. That hand represents the beginning of the black circles that began to form in my heart and gut. The traumatic experiences continued in my life, I never learned how to cope, and it was long before I was turning to drugs and alcohol to feel outside of myself. By the age of 30 I was blackout alcoholic who had lost everything. The disease of alcoholism tried to kill me more then once. Now age 33, several relapses later, I am now in recovery with over 2 months of consistent sobriety! It thanks to programs like Art Speaks that I have been able to heal and deal with my trauma through the expression of Art, a passion of mine that I had lost during my addiction. It won’t be long before Miracle will be able to remove her veil and you will see the blackness in her soul fade away.
Chantal Benoit. (2017) "Self Portrait." Media: Watercolour print. "Untitled." Media: collage.
Chantal Benoit. (2017) "The Stigma of Alcoholism." Media: altered book.
"Group Self Portrait." (2017) Media: Acrylic paints on canvas.
Top to Bottom Melinda (2017) "The Elemental Series." Media: acrylic on wood. Shelley Leigh (2017) “Untitled.” Media: Encaustic, collage on wood. Natalie Langlois (2017) "Down to Earth." Media: acrylics on canvas. Jen B. (2017) "Leaves." Media: acrylic on canvas.
Joanne Robertson (2017) "StoryArt Journal" in process. Media: paper, laminate, found objects, magazines, fabric, photographs. "Untitled." Media: wet felting, needle felting, fabric, buttons, thread, hand stitching.
Joanne Robertson (2017) "Self-Respect." Media: mannequin, acrylics, ink, copper foil, copper, leather, beads, gps unit. Water walkers are taught to respect water in all its forms.
Top to Bottom. Sara D. (2017) "Lotus." Work in progress. Media: acrylic and pencil on canvas. Robyn (2017) "Photo Walk." Media: Fuji Instax photos. Jen B. (2017) "Out of Its Comfort Zone." Media: digital prints.
Sara D. (2017) "Lotus." Work in progress. Media: acrylic pencil on canvas.
Shelley C. (2017) "Super hero." Media: bristol board, pencil crayon, found objects, postcard.
Painting & Language Exercise x4 media: acrylic on paper.
The ARTSpeaks Project. "Re-Purposing Trauma." Centre Left.
Annette Buzdygan (2017) "Inspiration Board." Media: mixed media, collage. This board depicts two mannequins (multiple personalities) in various environments with eyes watching. There are dark scary places & there are happy fun places demonstrating good things do happen even when bad things are happening.
Annette Buzdygan (2017) "Annette." Media: paper, laminate, mixed media. The beginning of a journey to express my fragmented life to inspire myself with hope, healing, and living!
Aislin (2017) "Untitled." Media: mannequin, paper, birch bark, string.
Aislin (2017) "Inspiration Board." Media: markers, Instax photographs
Chantal Benoit. (2017) "Aquaesse." Media: watercolour cardboard, acrylic paint, pipe cleaner, found objects, plastic masks, feathers. This mask represents a water bird who is free, beautiful, at peace and strong.
Chandra Barnett (2017) "StoryArt Journal." Media: paper, laminate, collage, paint, markers, found objects, greeting cards, string.
Maria Parrella-ilaria (2017) "We are made of stars and stuff." Thank you, Mr. Sagan. Media: clear acrylic mannequin, organic materials-milkweed, pine cones, acorns, horse chestnuts, birch branches/bark, cedar, dried tulips/freesia, rose hips, LED lights, mini Instax image, iridescent acrylic raffia, wooden bird house, acrylic paint, metal tape. "This work is a companion piece to my 2011 installation, 'mancanza/abbondanza' (Italian for loss/bounty) which looked at grief, specifically grief around miscarriage. Six years later, the grief is still there, made more nuanced by a complex layering of experiences surrounding the death of my mother, extended family and friends. Mamma passed in 2014 due to a massive stroke, related in part to poly-cystic kidney disease, something I inherited from her. I live with the knowledge that I have a chronic, life-threatening disease that keeps me inextricably tied to my mom, her sisters, their mother and far into our collective ancestral past. It also keeps me tied to unpredictability as the disease is progressive and treatment extremely limited. "
Maria Parrella-ilaria. (2017) "We are made of stars and stuff." contn'd. . . "Two openings in the mannequin relate to the placement and size of enlarged kidneys due to PKD. from these ragged openings emerge branches of rose hips, cut just ago from a rose bush in the front yard of what was my mother's house. While rose hips relate to love and sorrow in Western symbolism, in Chinese medicine, the kidney's are characterized by supporting memory, life, energy and our connection to our ancestors. The mannequin contains elements from my 2011 installation -- pine cones horse chestnuts, acorns, milkweed, and tulips/freesia, now dried. Birch branches are introduced as an element of protection as seen in Ancient Europe lore."
Maria Parrella-ilaria. (2017) "We are made of stars and stuff." contn'd. . . "Atop this vessel of containment sits a star filled bird house, trimmed with new beginnings and full of memories, potentials--flashes of light, glimmers of hope. A tiny photo of a winged female form is visible to the viewer-- a memory from years past, of a life that was briefly lived yet dearly missed but never truly gone for we are one and everything, just like the stars that gave birth to us eons ago."
Maria Parrella-ilaria (2017) "Spirit House." Media: wet felted wool and synthetic yarn. "Warty Nose." Media: cardboard, pompoms, feathers. "Bella--I want to move to Paris, Journal Work In Progress." Media: misc. papers, laminate, elastic.
Mixed Media Portrait Guest Artist: Lisa Meschino Collage Making Guest Artist: Gerri Proulx
Mask making Guest Artist: Miranda Bouchard. Media: felt mask, cardboard, paint. Papermaking Guest Artist: Laurie Carlyle. Media: recycled paper, dried plants and flowers, fibres, sparkles.
Left to Right. Nicole J. (2017) "What Lies Beneath." Media: mannequin, collage. RaeAnn B. (2017) "Untitled." Work in progress. Media: mannequin, acrylics, found objects. Krystal K. (2017) "Untitled." Work in progress. Media: mannequin, acrylics, fabric, inspiration board.
Anonymous. (2017) "Untitled." Media: acrylics on canvas.
Chandra Barnett (2017) "How to Be a Woman." & "Modesty." Media: altered book, mixed media work.
Chandra Barnett (2017) "Inspiration Board." Media: collage, Instax photos, beads, feathers.
Chandra Barnett (2017) "Self Preservation." Media: mannequin, spray paint, metal studs, aluminum, feathers, copper wire, found objects, acrylic paint. "Untitled." Media: plastic mask, paper, acrylics, found objects. The armor I have adorned myself with has served its purpose. It has protected me and given me the courage and confidence to be unapologetically me. Moving forward, as I have grown as a woman and mother and citizen of this world, as I have healed from harms acted against me, I am ready to grow, to let down my guard. I'm no longer afraid to fully access self awareness and to care about what others think in the sense of being held accountable for our impact on others and the world. I will care and consider the thoughts and experiences of others, but I will not let them define me, I will open my heart and let others in, but I will not be owned, I will continue to share my authentic self, but I will not lose my humility , I will pass the light, but I will not be dimmed. The weight of expectation is substantial and arduous. Too long I have allowed myself to feel confined by what society defines as a “good mother” a “good wife” a “good woman.” This is just another step in the direction of freedom.
The ARTSpeaks Project. "Re-Purposing Trauma." View from the rear of the Ideal Art Space.
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