On Thursday May 10th the MAHI was one of the sites for McGill’s Compassion Week, hosting a Compassion Day in collaboration with the McGill Council on Palliative Care. We were joined by a number of people from across the McGill community including faculty and students. A number of art activities and workshops took place throughout the day.
There were two on-going art projects hosted by Maria Ezcurra, the MAHI Art Facilitator. One was a participatory work called “before I die, I will…” inspired in Candy Chang’s work, for which people could make their declaration or comment on a post-it notation and the other was a colourful undertaking to fill in a compassion hive with words and decorative markings.
Lori Beavis, the P. Lantz Coordinator, led a one-hour cloth collage workshop in which participants could work with cloth and simple materials to create a collage that reflected their identity and family stories or simply to play with the materials.
In the hour before noon, the people who joined P. Lantz Visiting AiR Deborah Maia de Lima were able to open their minds and muscles in a spirited movement of stretching and other actions that took them through time and space with a good Latin beat.
At noon, P. Lantz AiR Aaron Richmond facilitated a modeling workshop, in which people could shape each other’s face on clay, as a way of inviting us to become aware of the facial expressions of the people around us.
Yukon artists Teresa van der Meer- Chassé and Nicole Bauberger presented their large collaborative project, Scavenging for the many faces of Raven. The artists’ starting point has been based on examining how, in the north, the shattered tires found by the roadside can look like ravens. Nicole and Teresa recently received a grant from Canada Council for the Arts to create Ravens out of tire remnants as well as to study and share stories of Raven. They have been presenting community-based projects that bring together building and discussions of what ravens mean in different contexts, in First Nations and non-First Nations, and how these different meanings interact with each other.
The workshop attracted many participants – students and community members, who painted ravens in wonderfully strong, colourful and luminescent paints. Others worked with raven stencils to create a more sculptural representation of the bird in its many incarnations. Many good conversations were had around the tables as people worked – often with people relaying where and in what situations they had encountered ravens (or as southerners, more often having met crows).
The day gave people a chance to stop and recharge as they had a chance to interact with a variety of art projects and media. It was a very successful day.