ENTRY 1- ANTI-OPPRESSIVE PRACTICE Class Date: January 27, 2021
- Review the models we discussed in today’s class (Matrix of Domination, Cage of Oppression, Power Flower, ADDRESSING Model)
- Choose one of the models and complete the model based on your own unique personal identity
- Create your art expression based on what you discovered as you completed the model
Feel confused, gender, farther, less powerful. Dominant, different roles, expect, “equal”. Absurd, ridiculous, blurred, movements. Agree, philosophy, education, opinion. Not fair, oppressed, lack privilege, lack power. Noise, taken away, tricked, grateful, approach.
My art exploration is a large-scale version of the Matrix of Domination, assembled to resemble the rays of sun. The Matrix of Domination is a visual representation displaying privilege and its categories are Religion, Race, Gender, Class, Sexual Orientation, and Ability. I have full privilege in most of these areas which I have indicated in my art by assembling the rays very close to the centre of the sun, creating an almost circle in the centre. The areas I do not have full privilege I have indicated by pulling back the rays from the centre. I chose a sun because the sun is often associated with tranquility and warmth, especially the closer we get to it. This became a disturbing image to me as I realized I have almost full access to this metaphorical sun yet many of my brothers and sisters walking this path of life do not. This made me question then: are they able to have tranquility and warmth in their life? Have I taken more than my allotted amount? Is there enough for everybody? Have I done something wrong? Or possibly worse than wrong, have I done something “right”? These are hard questions with difficult answers, possibly no one correct answer that could be resolved easily. What is most important to me at this point is that I am aware of my privilege and that I not not let myself think I am “elevated”. My position of privilege makes me more responsible to help others access the centre of their metaphorical sun.
ENTRY 2- MAG TOUR Class Date: February 3, 2021
Reflect on the artists’ work that was explored during today’s tour. Create an arts-based response inspired by the work of Nicholas & Semchuk.
Love, smile, curious, him. Thinking? Doing? Close, curious, me? Space, record, observe, feelings? Good, know more! Safe? Social responsibilities, feelings matter! Safe. Furry. Dangerous, like me, great care, sensitive, belong, lonely, needs, belonging, misfit. Sad, I laugh, tantrums! Please listen, turn away, disgust, vulnerable, hard. Hard, hard. Please stay!
I really loved Sandra Semchuk’s photography, especially that of the bear. It spoke to me; it made me feel homesick for beautiful British Columbia where my family and I spent ten years living in and exploring the great Canadian Rockies. I was flooded with memories of taking my kids to Waterton National Park when they were little and saw a brown bear for their first time. Then again in Barkerville Historic Town & Park where we again saw bears! When we lived in Sparwood, BC, a bear left his claw markings on our locked garbage can! Semchuk’s up close and personal photographs of the bear whispered to me that this bear had a story! This made me curious! What is his story? Was it this bear clawing at our garbage (who has now endangered himself coming into town looking for human food)? Or perhaps the bear darting across the road as we were leaving Barkerville? Be careful little guy! And then I thought, What is my story!?
I wanted to make a 3-dimensional bear to represent both Semchuk’s bear and the bear memories I cherish with my children. I have never worked with paper mâché before so it took some investigating on what to do. I researched different recipes and their pros and cons and I settled on using a flour/ water base. Many layers and days later it was ready for painting. By the final painting, he became real! Our family has named him Newsie Grizzila! Newsie Grizzila, welcome to our home!
ENTRY 3- CREATIVE ACTIVISM Class Date: February 10, 2021
Visit the Beautiful Rising website
1.tags> ART 2.Choose one of the entries to make a response 3. For your entry, employ a CREATIVE APPROACH (CR)- individual narratives, small group interrelated arts projects, journal writings, poetry writings, dance interpretations, visual interpretations, musical interpretations, dramatic interpretations, thematically or stylistically related works, etc.
Fascinating, right, developed, swoop, “save”. “Better”, ability, think, and act, and make decisions. Thrilled. Obesity, access to so much food, sugar, respond. Visual, excess sugar, we enjoy, complain. Obesity, disgust, underdeveloped, countries, “excess”. How we abuse this excess, complain, discouraging, unfair.
I was captivated by Ghana’s ThinkTank because it flips the script; instead of first world countries sending help and assistance to third world countries it is the third world countries offering assistance to first world countries. Third world countries, such as Ghana, are given first world problems to solve. ThinkTank groups of people gather to propose solutions to real first world problems. The solutions are then implemented in first world countries, usually within North America and Europe. This made me ponder what I would suggest if I was invited to sit in a ThinkTank group. I was thinking about the challenge obesity is playing in our first world. I wanted to produce art that could help educate regarding this topic. Therefore I created the sugar cube art which displays how much sugar is in certain foods. I did not label my foods so that the viewer can engage in their own thoughts on what it could possibly be. I love that in our world we have found ways to include all countries, allowing all to contribute to solving problems and challenges. I compare this to my classroom because it is important for me to remember that all students add value, no matter what their outer shell may say about them. All can participate: black and white, poor and rich, and it is up to me as the teacher to make sure I do not oppress anyone, especially within my classroom.
ENTRY 4- DECOLONIZING ARTS EDUCATION Class Date: February 24, 2021
- Reflect on A Digital Land Acknowledgement by Deirdre Lee
- Choose a section of the poem—a line, stanza, or portion of a stanza that calls to you
- Considering your own cultural/historical positionality, create an arts-based response to your chosen section of the poem
LOTS, questions! Good, seeking further light, knowledge, understanding. Dumb, unintelligent. 6. Further, explore, beautiful. All questions welcome; inferior, excluded. Peace, calm, stillness. Do not, the answers, information, embarrassed, ashamed. Look. Be content. Keep asking. Do not know, humble, willing to accept, patient, develop, helpful. Keep trying, see it, growth, eyes open. Listen. Listen, hear, good. Honest, truth, discern, truth, error, you feel. Listen, follow, your mind.
Lee’s step four line really stood out to me because she encourages the asking of questions and finding answers. This reminded me of a lullaby I played in the above video: I used to sing to my children when they were young because this song identifies and asks six questions and provides answers. It is a gentle and kind reminder that we need to be inquisitive and that we should not assume things. Asking questions is not wrong and it does not mean we are inadequate, dumb, or ignorant. Discovery is important, we need to seek further light and knowledge. Yet sometimes it is so hard to ask questions because we may feel vulnerable or inferior. These thoughts led me to think about how I will incorporate anti-oppression within my classroom. The first thought I had is to clearly identify and make clear that questions are good and that we all learn when others ask questions. As a teacher it is important to model this myself; I can ask questions. Students can become empowered once they feel safe and included and this can only be achieved if there is not oppression felt within the teacher’s classroom.
ENTRY 5- ECO ARTS EDUCATION Class Date: March 31, 2021
In class today we explored that art-arts education could be any of the following:
- Land-based art
- Centering the natural world in the creative process (making art for a specific location in nature, setting a performance or class outdoors)
- Creating using natural objects and sometimes using only natural objects
- The natural world (environment, plants, animals, etc.) being the focus of the art
- Art that honours and advocates for our Mother Earth
- Learning about traditional arts expressions from cultures around the world that focus on the natural world
Spend at least 15 minutes outside in nature.* This could be in your yard, a park, on an apartment balcony, etc. Be still (seated, lying down) or slow (standing, walking) so that you can be present to your surroundings. Just be in the space for 15+ minutes, interacting with nature and noticing your 5 senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, hear).
Create an eco-art response based on your experience. You may want to refer to today’s slides for activity ideas for inspiration, or you can create something completely different than what is in the slides.
So fun! Refreshing. great choices, options, land-based, pinecones. Underneath, pine trees, park. Pinecones, pinecones, HUGE! Capture, wonderful experience! Outdoors. revived and alive. Long winter. Surprised, invigorated, get outside; refreshing, cleanse, re try. Nature, restored. Pinecones, THEIR story? Useful, significance.
This was possibly my favourite project even though my art is so simple! I love the idea of getting outside to create art with whatever the earth happens to offer at that moment. At my moment, the earth had pinecones to offer so I choose to write a word. I wanted to make the letters HUGE (my are still fairly large, 3′ possibly) but I needed to be able to capture this in a picture, so I had some restraints I was working within. Regardless, I think this will still peek passerby’s interest and curiosity. Maybe they will take a moment to think about the trees, the pinecones which fell from it, feel a sense of gratitude for what the earth has to offer. Or maybe they will feel grateful for the beautiful, well maintained park we are privileged to use. I know I did! As I gathered the pinecones I couldn’t help wonder what their tree’s story had been, especially in this particular park where the wind wildly blows. How deep are the tree’s roots in order to keep it secure, keep its offspring safe? How deep are my roots to keep my offspring safe and secure? I love that the earth is so kind, generous, and giving to us humans, who at times, may not be as kind and generous in return. This reminds me of the Indigenous word wâh-wîcihitowin which means living with reciprocity. I am left wondering if I do my part though? Do I give and take fairly from the earth? This simple eco art project allowed me to think deeper and learn and question more about myself! Yay for eco art!