HOW WE CARED

HOW WE CARED

Three video stills ontop of blueprints and maps

HOW WE CARED
Saroja Ponnambalam & Rupali Morzaria

How can we create our own architectures of liberation? How we cared (3-channel video installation) is a return to Pandi Kumaraswamy’s archives, reinterpreting the multiple systems of care in his life, over which he had varying levels of autonomy. This expanded schematic of forced care, natural forms of care and creative care. The three sites operate within a fluid and undetermined ecosystem spanning the healthcare/medical world to the spiritual/natural based on family experiences. The schematic attempts to move away from finite solutions to healing medically diagnosed disorders. It prompts viewers to take a step back from conventional architectural practices that use speculative methods to conjure up imaginary built environments for those receiving mental health care.

Saroja Ponnambalam is an Ontario-based filmmaker. Her art practice involves working with a variety of documentary mediums – animation, photographs, family video archives and interviews. Her more recent work explores intergenerational mental health experiences through an intersectional lens.

Rupali Morzaria is a designer and film programmer currently based in Tiohti:áke/ Montreal. She is moved by storytelling and movement—in film, dance, and advertising—and uses design as a way to indulge in this fascination. Her work is based in traditional forms of print media and finding new forms of expression within contemporary media arts.

 

Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Bipolar Disorder(s)| Depression | Family | Psychiatry

IN-PERSON VIDEO INSTALLATION
CAMH (ground floor window)
1025 Queen Street West
Oct 28 – Nov 7

This piece has an audio component that will need to be accessed through a personal mobile/cellular device onsite. If data is unavailable, access to Wi-Fi is available upon request.

Headphones/earphones are also recommended to bring to experience this installation, though not necessary if mobile/cellular device has a speaker. Workman Arts will have extra headphones available onsite upon request.

If accessing this in-person installation is a barrier and to find out alternate ways to experience this piece, please contact Paulina Wiszowata at paulina_wiszowata@workmanarts.com or at 416-583-4339 ext 6. 

WORKSHOP – MOCA PARTNERSHIP:
FROM SCRAPBOOK TO SCREEN
Sun, Nov 7, 1 PM ET

Join artist Saroja Ponnambalam for a virtual workshop that responds to MOCA’s GTA21 exhibition.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Made with funding support from Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council

Toronto Arts Council - Funded by the City of Toronto
Ontario Arts Council Logo

GREEN GAZING

GREEN GAZING

A laptop in the centre, open to a complicated program. In the foreground there are medical monitors connected to a plant. There is another plant on the right and more in the background. In the far back there is a projection of indiscernible plants.

GREEN GAZING
Ashley Bowa & Lesley Marshall

Green Gazing is an immersive multimedia installation that includes interactivity, sound, image and biofeedback. In a room of plants, the audience/participants will experience guided movement amidst ambient sound and video rooted in ecological elements. Surround sound and multi walled projections are altered through live manipulation and using bio data gathered  from the plants in the room. The ambient electronic sound and videoscape becomes a co-creation between plant, participant and artist.

Funded by the Ontario Arts Council for research and creation in 2018-2019

Ashley Bowa is an emerging filmmaker, media artist, and arts educator based in Toronto. She is also trained as a yoga, pilates, and outdoor education instructor.

Lesley Marshall / LES666 is an award-winning filmmaker and intermedia artist. Projection art by Lesley has been exhibited at the National Art Centre, Montreal Jazz Fest, and Centre PHI.

 

Keywords: Anxiety | Community

VIRTUAL PATICIPATORY PERFORMANCE
Sun, Nov 7, 2 PM ET
CLOSING DAY

Experience a Green Gazing “Virtual Performance” where the public are invited to engage in a movement class over a virtual meeting space led by Ashley Bowa. Participants can move and see the video response the plants have to the “class”. For this presentation, please create a comfortable space to enjoy the meditation: a comfy chair or a mat on the floor. We invite you to bring nature into your space in whatever way speaks to you (e.g. a houseplant, fallen leaves, a handful of dirt, a bowl of water, etc). You will just need yourself and, if you feel like joining the movements, some space to stretch. A Q&A will follow afterword.

A “Virtual Field Guide” will be available for download to learn more about Green Gazing, investigate indigenous plants of the Toronto area, write down your ecological anxieties, and explore our changing environmental landscape.

Please RSVP below in order to participate in this performance:

Accessibility

If you require ASL interpretation, please reach out to Raine Laurent-Eugene at raine_laurenteugene@workmanarts.com, at least 48 hours before the performance in order for us to ensure that we are able to accommodate. Open captioning will be available.

IN(SITE)

IN(SITE)

In(site) Logo

A Virtual Exhibition
In-Site, Incite, & Insight

Rather than experience the festival’s exhibition on-site, this year we experience it “in-site” — in a website, in the digital world, in the virtual. The works in the festival this year have been selected with the intention of being experienced virtually.

The artists bring insight to their experiences of the world having changed, how it continues to change and what this change can offer. This includes our growing awareness around mental health, our relationships with both the physical and digital worlds, and how the works can incite us into action. The exhibiting works investigate these themes and more, providing room to engage with the arts in a time when interacting and experiencing work has been significantly impacted. Through these works, we recognize that we are in the moment, in the current, in the site.

Visit the virtual exhibition here:

insite.workmanarts.com

IN THE EXHIBITION:

Blurred grey smoke-like smudges.

SELF // ISOLATION
Chelsea Watson

Top half of an individual in front of a multi-coloured graffiti filled wall. They wear mixed textiles of red where their face is covered with a chain mail piece which reveals their eyes.

UNBREAKABLE
Amplify Collective

Black and white drawing of a thin lined body of a human figure with a bird head and thin neck. One arm is a wing where both arms hold a cane each. There are two cross-hatched rectangles with dots

HYBRID PRECARITY
Leena Raudvee

Collage of a graph on the left and a handwritten letter on the right in the background, with a figure above walking away, and a headless figure holding a headless child below. Overtop of the letter is a diagram of a body part nearly resembling the brain. Overtop of the letter and graph is a portrait of a headless figure wearing a button up shirt. This is layed over a colourful rorschach implying that it is the head of this figure.

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

Man making "shush" gesture to bird

COAL MINES AND TREE TOPS
Dani Crosby

A laptop in the centre, open to a complicated program. In the foreground there are medical monitors connected to a plant. There is another plant on the right and more in the background. In the far back there is a projection of indiscernible plants.

GREEN GAZING
Ashley Bowa & Lesley Marshall

Three video stills ontop of blueprints and maps

HOW WE CARED
Saroja Ponnambalam & Rupali Morzaria

This year, the exhibition in the Rendezvous With Madness Festival will be presented virtually which will be accessible throughout the festival from October 28 to November 7. Work including timed events and performances will be accessible through the virtual exhibition site through the link below:

VIRTUAL GUIDED TOUR

Watch the virtual guided tour of the In(site) exhibition held on Sat, Oct 30, 12 PM ET

SPECIAL IN PERSON FEATURES

  • How we cared video installation will be on the ground floor window of 1025 Queen St W, available 24/7.
  • UNBREAKABLE performance will be presented live on opening night, in the CAMH Auditorium at 1025 Queen St W.

ONLINE LIVE EVENTS

  • Green Gazing invites the public to engage in a movement class as a virtual participatory performance on the final day of the festival.

ARTIST TALKS

ACCESSIBILITY

If either online or in-person access is a barrier, please contact Paulina Wiszowata at paulina_wiszowata@workmanarts.com.

Workman Arts will have available the In(site) virtual exhibition displayed and interactable on a monitor in their front office at 1025 Queen St W Suite 2400.
Available during Box Office hours:
Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM.

Visit the Accessibility page for further festival info.

David Constantino Salazar: Forever (Bird-Botanicals) @ Gardiner Museum

David Constantino Salazar: Forever (Bird-Botanicals) @ Gardiner Museum

Artist Davis Salazar working on clay birds for the installation Forever (Bird Botanicals).
Saturday, August 21 to 31, 2021

Community Arts Space 2021
Project led by David Constantino Salazar
In collaboration with participants from Workman Arts

Established in 2016, Community Arts Space (CAS) is the Gardiner’s incubator for arts-based projects that build community through clay making. As part of CAS2021, artist David Constantino Salazar presents Forever (Bird-Botanicals) in partnership with members of Workman Arts, a Toronto-based arts organization that promotes a greater understanding of mental health and addiction.

Inspired by folk tales and allegories passed on from his grandparents in Ecuador, Salazar uses the symbol of the bird to explore themes of hope, freedom, and growth while reflecting on personal tragedy and collective trauma. Salazar asks us to meditate on the concept of human resilience, an idea especially pertinent as we begin to recover from the impact of the global pandemic.

Salazar created over 200 birds during a two-month residency at the Gardiner. While the clay was still soft, he threw the birds at a wall, evoking a physical, mental, and spiritual rupture, and at the same time preserving their beauty and energy. As the title suggests, the birds endure, albeit in a new form. Salazar encourages us all to approach traumas as opportunities for transformation, adaptation, and renewal, while remaining sensitive to how these experiences change and challenge us.

Appearing alongside Salazar’s work are birds made by participants from Workman Arts who took part in online workshops lead by the artist in July 2021. In contrast to Salazar’s birds, displayed on the gallery walls, the birds created by the Workman Arts participants gather on the ground. The space between these two groupings creates an uncomfortable tension that we are encouraged to sit with rather than ignore.

Additional birds made by community members and Gardiner visitors in a series of hands-on workshops are on view throughout the Museum.

David Constantino Salazar is a Toronto-based sculptor with a Master of Fine Arts degree from OCAD University. He has exhibited widely, including at Carnival, Rio de Janeiro (2012); the Spadina Museum, Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2015); and the first presentation of Forever (Bird-Botanicals) at the third International Biennial of Asunción in Paraguay (March 2020).

Supporting Sponsors

Susan Crocker & John Hunkin

Gardiner Museum

BROWSE CURRENT EVENTS

CHANNEL 2400

6 NOVEMBER 2021 - ONGOING

FILMLIVE PANEL/Q&A

Neuroelastic

Neuroelastic

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

Headshot of a person facing the camera with vividly colored stretchy paper strips wrapped around their head.

Creator: Laura Shintani / A/V: Grant Padley

Neuroelastic is a self-activated artistic performance. Taking a cue from the well-known concept of Dr. Norman Doidge’s neuroplasticity, it is inspiring that the mind can adapt in new ways. The artist imagined an idea; by wrapping oneself in streams of coloured synaptic “bandages” this symbolic act can allow thoughts and feelings to show on the outside. Using photography as documentation, a capture of the moment reveals what is hidden. This artwork of self-permission reflects on not only the unseen being seen, but that it can be changed. This collection of images I hope can read as a zany family album of the mind. Neuroelastic is an interior selfie and an invitation to an altered way of being.

Laura Shintani is a Toronto-based multimedia artist who creates work in order to provoke questions in artistic forms. Shintani represents a hybrid of work, art making, study and teaching. She is interested in seeing people embrace the cycle of creativity: playing, problem solving and reflecting. Raised in small-town Ontario, Shintani later studied fashion design at Ryerson University and received a degree from the University of Toronto. After personal discovery she made art a vocation and earned a Master of Fine Art from the University of Windsor. Shintani’s most significant exhibition was at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2019.

This artist has interactive materials which will be provided in the RWM swag bag in order to interact with their virtual content. All ticket holders will be invited to receive RWM swag bags available for free curbside pickup during festival hours.

Images of the Neuroelastic installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all ticket purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

ALSO OF INTEREST

Due to Renovations

Due to Renovations

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A photograph of a bottom half of a mannikin with a roll of silver duct tape on top of it against a concrete block wall. A piece of pink duct tape on the wall overlaps a piece of silver duct tape, with the two pieces forming an X shape.

Creator: Van Lisa

Due to Renovations is an installation piece focusing on a transmasculine experience of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Through several casting techniques, the artist captured their transitioning body at different stages of their HRT. These casts are suspended and framed within a construction zone containing other artifacts from the artist’s transition, including: a video montage of their gender identity experimentation, medical supplies and reports from their HRT and notated anatomy blueprints. Themes explored within the work include westernized concepts of gender expression; gender and body dysphoria; body modification and drag. Due to Renovations is an autobiographical paradox: it attempts to preserve a transition for both the spectator and the artist.

Van Lisa is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on performance. As an AFAB (assigned female at birth) transgender individual, their work aims to conceptualize and challenge westernized ideologies of the transmasculine experience. Van works in Tkaronto as a performer and curator and is a part of the curatorial collective for both the 2020 and 2021 Rhubarb Festival’s at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

CONTENT WARNINGS

Nudity, Mature Language, Sexual Content

Images of the Due to Renovations installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

Van Lisa will be participating in the virtual panel discussion Resistant Bodies: The Intersections of Self and Health on October 21, at 1 PM. Click here to book a ticket.

ALSO OF INTEREST

Multitude of Fish

Multitude of Fish

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A photograph of many small hand-sculpted red clay fish laid out on a rocky river bank.

Creator: Jenny Chen

Multitude of Fish is an installation consisting of 1000 handmade clay fish. In this piece, the artist touches on layers of meaning through its process and how it’s experienced by the viewer. She explored how things we cannot see like intention, emotions and thoughts, form our reality. This is reflected in the creation process as each mark carved into the clay builds up to the fish and eventually becomes a piece to the overall installation. For the past two years, Jenny worked with the image of water in her drawings which was preliminary work that led up to this installation. In her work, the fish flows through its surrounding space and leads the viewer on a journey reminiscent of the inner realm.

Jenny Chen is a multimedia artist, currently working in watercolor, pen and clay. Her work uses symbols to create otherworldly environments while considering themes of existentialism and spirituality. Her exhibition history includes the Living Arts Centre (group), Toronto Media Arts Centre (group) and United Contemporary (solo). She is a recipient of grants from the Ontario Arts Council (exhibition assistance) and Cue Arts Projects.

Images of the Multitude of Fish installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

untitled ({not} always like this)

untitled ({not} always like this)

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A photograph depicting a wire wastebasket in the corner of a room, overflowing with crumpled tissues covered in a smooth, hard yellowish or grayish substance.

Creator: Kassandra Walters

untitled ([not] always like this) is an ongoing artwork created by collecting the artist’s used tissues and dipping them in porcelain, adding worth to an otherwise worthless object. The piece is a response to the society we live in and the importance placed on doing: you must make, you must work, you must grind. Our opinions of ourselves are tied to a quantifiable output rather than how we feel. Instead, we should spend time listening to our bodies, allowing ourselves to take things slow, being intentional with the way we move through the world and giving ourselves permission to heal from the everyday. These tissues hold the memories of going against the grain, of days stuck in sickness and hours lost crying.

Kassandra Walters is a multimedia artist currently practicing in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. Her art tackles mental health, all that it encompasses and all that encompasses it. With a strong desire to normalize speaking about the unspeakable, Kassandra’s work is honest and raw. She finds solace in the act of making through repetition.

This artist has an item in the RWM swag bag to go with their piece in the exhibition. All ticket holders will be invited to receive RWM swag bags available for free curbside pickup during festival hours.

Images of the untitled ([not] always like this) installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

Into the dark of my skin

Into the dark of my skin

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A multiple-exposure photograph of a crouched nude figure on a black background.

Creator: Wieslawa Nowicka / Video projection, 00:01:3

TOPIC: ANXIETY

Into the dark of my skin uses a bird’s eye view to look at all possible perspectives, going beyond the corners of the frame. Mutated and shared bodies visually meet in only one spot, never meeting in a second. Their virtual encounter is a need that satisfies and nourishes the fetal and its obsolete memory. This, unfortunately, is a search for impossible love or the cohabitation of two human beings, which is only possible through a visual juxtaposition. The video medium creates a ground that allows a meeting…impossible bodies, different times and places.

Wieslawa Nowicka explores the branches of visual art and its pluralism. As a result, she has liberated herself from a singularity, permitting her to explore the facets of history, anthropology, and psychoanalysis through the plurality of arts – painting, design, performance and video installations.

CONTENT WARNINGS

Nudity

Images of the Into the dark of my skin installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

The Anatomy of a Home

The Anatomy of a Home

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A line drawing of a two-storey house on the top half of the page and a bee with its wings spread on the bottom half of the page.

Lead Artist: Saba Akhtar

The Anatomy of A Home is a multi-media installation exploring a person’s relationship to home. Audiences are invited to walk through a blueprint of a house etched into the floor and observe the artifacts placed within. This is part of a larger performance project that explores Saba’s relationships to home and isolation, in her past and during COVID-19.

Special Thanks: Tijiki Morris & Jules Voderak-Hunter

Saba Akhtar is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto and raised in Houston, Texas. Her arts practice is focused on intergenerational trauma and grief. She exhibits this through multimedia design (installation, video, photo), playwriting and performance. Saba’s education has been heavily influenced by mentorship from peers and elders in her community. She has a deep passion for helping others share their story as well and has established a career in community-engaged arts as a facilitator and mentor in multiple organizations.

CONTENT WARNINGS

Violence

Images of the The Anatomy of a Home installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.