Articles tagged with: humanities

  • Brock project aims to improve long-term care for veterans and brain injury patients

    Brock University alumni now with Mirror Theatre perform a scene in Understanding person-centred care: Finding dignity within the shadows, a video series as part of a research project between Brock and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

    (From: The Brock News, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2019 | by Dan Dakin)

    Two Brock University faculty members from seemingly unrelated disciplines have collaborated on a project aimed at improving the relations of those involved in long-term care.

    Associate Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Colleen Whyte, and Professor of Dramatic Arts Joe Norris, were at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto Wednesday, Oct. 2 for the premiere of Understanding person-centred care: Finding dignity within the shadows.

    Two years ago, Sunnybrook Professional Practice and Education Leader Leanne Hughes came to Whyte with a research idea about how to help staff and family deal with the challenges associated with two specific groups in long-term care: veterans living with dementia and patients recovering from traumatic brain injuries.

    “I’ve known Leanne for 15 years and we’ve done research together in the past,” Whyte said. “She came to me and said: This is an issue we have. How do you think we could look at researching it?’”

    “What we’re looking at are person-centred approaches,” said Hughes, referring to a growing emphasis in health care that invites patients and family members to be involved in decision-making and strategizing ways to care for individual patients from a wide-range of services. It’s a more collaborative care model than a traditional top-down medical approach to care.

    In the fall of 2018, Whyte led research that included focus groups of those working in long-term care at the Toronto hospital such as doctors and hospital staff, as well as families of those in care.

    Brock University professors Joe Norris and Colleen Whyte hand a USB drive to Leanne Hughes from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Brock and Sunnybook partnered on a research project that included a 20-part video around patient-centred care. Pictured from left are Brock alumni Nadia Ganesh, Candice De Freitas Braz and Mike Metz, Hughes, Norris, Brock master’s student Kevin Hobbs, Whyte and Brock alumni Bernadette Kahnert.

    “We interviewed people who are doing this every day,” Whyte said. “This research is about taking the principles of person-centred care and trying to see how they are translated on a daily basis, when all partners experience unexpected challenges.”

    With the focus group data in hand, Whyte then turned to Norris, Chair of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, who worked with the student-run Mirror Theatre to translate the conversations into dramatic action, known as ethnodrama and applied theatre.

    “We took the focus group transcripts, read them, analyzed them and created dramatic scenes,” said Norris. “The purpose is to evoke conversations.”

    The result is a 20-part video series, each dealing with a different component of the long-term care experience. They range from something as simple the challenge of what to pack when a family member is moved into a new living situation to what to do when a patient whose mind no longer has much of a filter says something that crosses a line.

    “It’s all about answering the question of ‘How do we treat each other with respect in stressful situations?’” Norris said.

    He said the Dramatic Arts students who were acting the parts in the videos — including the patients who are represented as shadowed silhouettes rather than specific people — learned about more than just acting.

    “Many cast members say they don’t only get extra-curricular experience with theatre, they get the experience of dealing with a range of topics. It’s like an extra class for them,” he said.

    With the video series now complete, the next stage of the project is to create workshops for staff and families.

    “It gives staff some insight and helps them think, ‘If I’m in this situation, let me strategize and be thoughtful about what options I have,’” she said. “It will equip new staff with possibilities and allow existing staff to be reflective about their approaches.”

    Brock University alumni Nadia Ganesh, Bernadette Kahnert, Lindsay Detta and Candice De Freitas Braz interpret a scene from Finding dignity within the shadows at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto Wednesday, Oct. 2.

    Hughes said when the final videos were shown to those working with veterans suffering from dementia and patients dealing with brain injuries, the staff were impressed with how accurate they were in reflecting the situations they deal with.

    “It has been an absolute pleasure to see students take this data and enact it,” Hughes said. “We were in awe of their ability. They did a fantastic job.”

    The project, which was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant and a Practice-Based Research and Innovation Seed Grant from Sunnybrook, will continue with the development of facilitator tools and training sessions. Those will be developed and led by Norris and Kevin Hobbs, a master’s student in Social Justice and Equity Studies, who directed the Finding dignity within the shadows series and incorporated the research into his master’s thesis.

    “They’re training videos, but not in the sense of, ‘Here’s how you give a needle,” said Norris. “It’s more of a dialogic conversation where our audiences are invited to comment on the scenes and add their own insights and stories.”

    Watch the full Understanding Person-Centred Care video below and individual scene videos can be found at this link

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    Categories: Alumni, Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News, Uncategorised

  • Event to explore bodies and illness through art and literature

    Yasmine Kandil, Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts, and six Brock Dramatic Arts students will present “Still Here,” cat the fifth annual Art, Archives and Affinities event. Hosted by the Social Justice Research Institute, the event takes place at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Tuesday, Feb. 26.


    (From The Brock News, February 21, 2019 | By: Alison Innes)

    Art-making and trauma. Non-human organisms in the human body. Early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

    These are some of the ideas and experiences Brock scholars will explore through art and literature at the upcoming Art, Archives and Affinities event hosted by the Social Justice Research Institute.

    Held Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines, this year’s event features scholars from Visual Arts, Dramatic Arts, and English examining ideas about the body, illness and trauma.

    Included among the speakers is Candace Couse, an artist and PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Humanities, who will present an art installation and discuss her research on art and illness. Couse’s research examines the role that producing art has on artists who are undergoing illness and body trauma and how addressing trauma and illness through art-making helps artists reclaim their bodies and experiences.

    Also presenting is Adam Dickinson, Associate Professor in the Department of English, who subjected himself to a wide variety of bio-medical tests to measure and identify the precise chemical and microbial diversity of his body. The book of poetry he wrote examining the experience and its results, Anatomic, explores how we rely on nonhuman organisms to make us human and the permeability of our bodies to the environment.

    Yasmine Kandil, Assistant Professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts, and a team of six Dramatic Arts students will present performance piece “Still Here” at the event. Students created the performance based on interviews they did with caregivers of people with early onset Alzheimer’s. The performance explores the disease and the impact it has on caregivers.

    Art, Archives and Affinities is free and open to the public.

    What: Art, Archives and Affinities
    When: Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 2 to 5 p.m.
    Where: Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Room 151 and Studio D

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Rodman Hall readying for two exhibition openings

    The work of Brock alumna Natalie Hunter will be featured in one of two exhibitions opening Jan. 31 at Rodman Hall. Hunter’s Staring into the Sun runs until March. (Image: Natalie Hunter, “Songs of May” (detail), 2018, Giclée prints on transparent film.)


    (From The Brock News, January 28, 2019 | By: Alison Innes)

    Two powerful exhibitions featuring the work of clients from Start Me Up Niagara (SMUN) and Brock alumna Natalie Hunter, respectively, will open at Rodman Hall Art Centre Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.

    The first of two new Rodman Hall offerings, the Art Me Up Niagara group show is a play on the name of the organization that works with individuals facing significant life challenges, such as poverty, addiction, homelessness, mental illness and unemployment.

    SMUN participants have created artwork in response to Rodman Hall’s current Northern Oracle installation, which aims to inspire people to share their message, whatever it might be, with the world and have their voice heard.

    “In developing the public programs activating this installation, I was guided by inquiry into why this work might be important to the Niagara community, and homelessness immediately arose as a critical issue,” says Elizabeth Chitty, Interim Grants and Programming Officer at Rodman Hall. “We will all benefit from seeing and listening to the artistic voices of those with lived experiences of homelessness in St. Catharines.”

    The second exhibition, Hunter’s “Staring into the Sun,” features photo-based sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between memory and physical space.

    Hunter (BA ’11) uses vibrant colour filters and multiple photographic exposures in her creation process. The works are printed on translucent films that hang, ripple and drape to interact with architectural features of the exhibition space.

    Each viewer’s experience of the pieces, which allude to enduring routines and the passage of time, shifts with subtle changes in light.

    Hunter will give a public talk about her work on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall.

    In addition to the launch of the Art Me Up Niagara showcase, another event will be held this week related to the Northern Oracle exhibition. Rodman Hall is partnering with the American Sign Language Community of Niagara to present a public lecture by deaf Bahamian photographer and graphic designer Will Henfield at the art centre on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

    A full list of community events related to the ongoing “Northern Oracle” exhibition by Heather Hart can be found on the Rodman Hall website.

    The Art Me Up Niagara and Staring into the Sun exhibitions run until Feb. 10 and April 28, respectively.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, News

  • Visual Arts prof named new Associate Dean of Humanities

    Keri Cronin, Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, will take on the role of Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Humanities starting July 1. (Photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals.)


    (From The Brock News, January 24, 2019 | By: Alison Innes)

    Keri Cronin has always been invested in sharing the research of Brock’s Faculty of Humanities in far-reaching ways. And in her new role as Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, she intends to continue down that path.

    “There is so much great work being done here in the Humanities,” says Cronin, Associate Professor with the Department of Visual Arts.

    “A lot of people hold misperceptions about what it is we do and the value and relevance of this work to the ‘real world.’ Using public platforms to highlight our stories and the excellent research being done here is, I believe, more important than ever.”

    Cronin, whose position as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Humanities begins July 1, values making academic research accessible to a wide and diverse audience.

    “I look forward to supporting faculty and graduate students in developing knowledge mobilization plans that make sense for their areas of expertise,” she says.

    Cronin’s own research trajectory has been a blend of the traditional and the non-traditional. In addition to her academic publications, including the 2018 publication of Art for Animals, Cronin has embraced online opportunities to share her research.

    The Unbound Project, a multimedia initiative Cronin co-created with Jo-Anne McArthur of We Animals, uses video, photography, interviews and social media to tell the stories of women who are working in animal advocacy.

    The Unbound Project has a very large and international reach,” Cronin says. “Using our website and social media channels, we are able to share these women’s stories widely.”

    Cronin has also curated an online exhibition for the National Museum of Animals & Society. Be Kind: A Visual History of Humane Education was launched in 2012 and is used by teachers and professors in classrooms around the world.

    Social justice and transdisciplinary work are key for Cronin. She is a faculty member in the Social Justice and Equity Studies graduate program and was a founding member of Brock’s Social Justice Research Institute, where she worked to showcase Humanities-based approaches to social justice work.

    “Dr. Cronin is an accomplished scholar and teacher, with an excellent record of service to the University and the Faculty already,” says Dean of Humanities Carol Merriam.

    “I’m very pleased that she will now put her skills and talents available to her colleagues in this new role. She is a fitting successor to Dr. Michael Carter, who has done very good work in the role since 2016.

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  • Community voices expressed through Brock art exhibitions

    Curt Richard, a student in VISA 3M90, surveys the exhibition that he and 52 other students have completed over the course of the semester. Manifestos in a Room is a collaboration between students in French, Visual Arts, and Studies in Art and Culture. It will be on display at Rodman Hall Art Centre until Dec. 30.


    (From The Brock News, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 | By: Alison Innes)

    Two Brock art exhibitions now on display are working to celebrate and amplify community voices.

    Manifestos in a Room and Sauti za Afrika/African Voices/Voix Africaines were each created to engage with Northern Oracle, an exhibition by Heather Hart currently being featured at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    Through the exhibition, which includes an indoor rooftop installation, Hart asks visitors what they want to say to the world and advises them to shout it from the rooftop.

    Reflecting on Northern Oracle, 53 students in Visual Arts, Studies in Arts and Culture, and French came together to create their own statements, whether poetic, absurd or political. The expressions — in both English and French — were used to create Manifestos in a Room, on display in Rodman Hall’s Studio Gallery.

    Students worked throughout the fall semester to bring the exhibition, curated by Associate Professor Catherine Parayre and instructor Donna Akrey, to life.

    Jean Ntakirutimana, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, demonstrates the talking drum used to send messages over long distances in Cameroon. With careful training, a person could use the different tones produced by the drum to send messages. The drum is just one of the items on display in Sauti za Afrika/ African Voices/ Voix Africaines, an exhibition celebrating voices of Niagara’s African diaspora community.

    “It really helps to collaborate in one’s art practice,” said Akrey, whose art students were involved in the project.

    “We also did an assembly line production to create some of the work, which was fun and rewarding. I was impressed with how the 3M90 students embraced this project and made sense of it for the viewing public.”

    For the participating French students, the exhibition was a “great opportunity to practice writing constraints for fun,” said Parayre. “Students produced facetious manifestos, writing eloquently on a light-hearted topic. It allowed all of us to put our creative forces together and share a common space.”

    The exhibition includes a visual component as well as a three-minute audio track created by the students.

    Over at Brock’s main campus, the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (MLLC) is hosting Sauti za Afrika/African Voices/Voix Africaines, an exhibition meant to amplify the voices of the African diaspora in Niagara. Featuring 12 different languages, the exhibition combines modern writing with ancient traditions of communication.

    The display features instruments and figurines used for communication, such as a conch shell, similar to the one used to call for revolution in Haiti, and miniature replicas of Burundi drums used by royalty to communicate with their people.

    Also included is an intricately carved cow horn used to call people to come and hear the chief speak in certain regions of Africa, said Department Chair and Associate Professor Jean Ntakirutimana.

    Ntakirutimana worked with members of Niagara’s African diaspora and Sofifran (Solidarité des femmes et familles immigrantes francophones du Niagara) to collect people’s hopes, dreams and concerns to include in the display. Members have also loaned their personal objects for the exhibition.

    The display is a precursor to an event by the same name coming up in February. Co-hosted by Sofifran, MLLC and Studies in Arts and Culture, the event will be held at Rodman Hall and will also engage with Northern Oracle.

    Sauti za Afrika/African Voices/Voix Africaines is a part of the Museum in the Hallway project, curated by Parayre. Located in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Mackenzie Chown A-block), the project features rotating monthly displays.

    Both African Voices and Manifestos in A Room will be on display until the end of December. Northern Oracle will be at Rodman Hall until March 3.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Public French-language tour to be held at Rodman Hall

    Associate Professor Peter Vietgen and teacher candidates from Brock University’s Faculty of Education explore the Northern Oracle exhibition by Heather Hart at Rodman Hall Art Centre.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday November 14)

    A public tour will lead French-speaking art enthusiasts through the exhibitions of Rodman Hall Art Centre on Saturday, Nov. 17.

    Catherine Parayre, Associate Professor in Brock’s Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, will lead the French-language tour and related discussion while moving through the historic St. Catharines building.

    The event, Maisons de l’art: Conversations en français et visite des expositions, begins at 2 p.m.

    Current Rodman Hall exhibitions include Up Close and In Motion: Selected Works from the Permanent Collection, curated by Emma German, and Northern Oracle by artist Heather Hart.

    Northern Oracle features a rooftop installation rising from the gallery floor and mixed media drawings. The work considers ideas of Black history, access to home ownership and the significance of having a place to call home. Gallery visitors are invited to interact with the installation by accessing the rooftop and its floor-level attic space.

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  • DART prof wins national award for theatre criticism

    (From The Brock News, Tuesday Oct.30, 2018 | By: )

    Karen Fricker is getting rave reviews from a respected national audience.

    The associate professor in Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts is being honoured with the 2018 Nathan Cohen Award for excellence in critical writing by the Canadian Theatre Critics Association.

    Fricker won the award’s short category for her 2016 Toronto Star review of Michel Tremblay’s classic Hosanna, as revived by Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre.

    Fricker, whose research areas include Quebec theatre, said the play is a complicated touchstone of Quebecois culture.

    “A big challenge of writing this review was trying to use the research-based knowledge I had about the play without being overwhelmed by it,” she said. “It was a really hard review to write, so it’s gratifying that it’s being recognized.”

    Fricker has a long history with theatre criticism, having written for outlets including The Guardian and Varietyas well as being the founding editor-in-chief of Irish Theatre Magazine, a publication that operated from 1998 to 2014. She has written for the Toronto Star since March 2016.

    Fricker joined Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts in 2013. Her research interests include contemporary theatre and globalization, popular performances of nation and cultural identities, and theatre criticism. Recent projects have included work on circus performance.

    “The benefits between my work at Brock and at the Toronto Star flow both ways,” Fricker said.

    “I try to connect students in my courses to what’s happening in GTA theatre, and we learn from each other’s responses to the work. When we publish their edited reviews on the DARTcritics website, their voices enter the broader dialogue.”

    As part of her interest in arts criticism in the digital age, Fricker established the blog DARTcritics.com to provide students with an opportunity to publish their work. The site grew from a space for student coursework to a year-round source of quality arts criticism in Niagara. The site now includes reviews and features by students and graduates who are paid for their work.

    The Nathan Cohen Awards were established in 1981 and are given out every two years to honour outstanding critical writing about theatre and performance in print or electronic media. The awards are named after legendary Toronto Star and CBC critic Nathan Cohen.

    A history of the awards and past recipients may be found on the CTCA website.

    Fricker will receive her award in December at a special luncheon in Toronto.

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  • MIWSFPA calls for donations to revive zine culture on campus

    Learning Commons Co-ordinator Lesley Bell, left, and Visual Arts graduate Victoria Reid are asking students and the public
    to submit their self-made zines to their new collection at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, which will
    officially open Aug. 30.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) is calling on the zine-making community to help expand its collection of eclectic self-published books.

    The school’s Learning Commons currently has a small, informal collection of zines (short for magazines) that were made by students of Visual Arts instructor Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea. With other libraries and post-secondary intuitions in North America now creating dedicated zine collections and hosting zine fairs, the MIWSFPA decided to do the same.

    Brock Visual Arts graduate Victoria Reid, is spearheading a project to catalogue the zines and gather donations alongside the school’s Learning Commons Co-ordinator, Lesley Bell.

    “I’m excited to be working on this because I think it’s something we’re going to see popping up in a lot more libraries,” said Reid, who will be studying library and information science in the fall.  “A lot of people have become really excited about zines in the past year.”

    Zines can be traced back to the early 1930s, experiencing their peak popularity through counter-culture movements and the punk music scene of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

    The publications, which come in a variety of styles, sizes and cover a range of subject matter, are seeing a resurgence again today and students are embracing the chance to self-publish their ideas.

    “Making and sharing zines is all about sharing your opinion without being filtered and being able to self-publish on your own terms,” explained Reid, who has made a few zines herself. “They are all about freedom of thought and the free sharing of ideas.”

    The small-circulation, self-published periodicals are often traded for little to no money and vary from micro-sized journal-style publications, with hand-stitched bindings, to large, glossy art books.

    Students and the public can donate their zines and Reid and Bell stressed there will be no restrictions on the zines they will accept. They are encouraging those in disciplines outside of the arts and humanities to participate, as well.

    “Anybody can make a zine and it’s important to not put a box around what we’re accepting and what we’re not,” said Reid. “It’s also a good tie between the main and downtown Brock campuses because it encourages people from other programs to create their work and show it here. I’d love to see people from other programs submit things to us.”

    There will be a grand opening celebration for the collection hosted in the MIWSFPA Learning Commons on Aug. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. in room 226.

    Everyone is welcome to attend and try their hand at making buttons and a zine of their own.

    “There’s something attractive and energetic about publishing your own thing,” said Bell. “You are really going to experience something between those covers, it’s about discovery.”

    The opening will also serve as an informal goodbye to Bell, who is retiring from her long-standing post with Brock at the end of August.

    If you are interested in donating a zine, please visit the grand opening event’s Facebook page to download a donation form. You can also drop your zine donation off at the Learning Commons between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, or contact vreid2@brocku.ca for more information.

     

     

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  • Exploring family history through art

    Chidera Onyegbule and Osaze Usuanlele make cyanotypes, an early type of archival photography, using images from their families’ histories. Fifteen youth aged 14 to 18 have been participating in the week-long workshop, which is a partnership between Rodman Hall Art Centre, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, and the City of St. Catharines.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | by Alison Innes)

    Old family photos were given new life during a special Brock workshop held last week.

    Fifteen young artists from St. Catharines spent the week working with Visual Arts Professor Amy Friend to explore their family history and create new works of art.

    During the workshop organized by Rodman Hall Art Centre, participants used camera-less photography techniques on their familial documents as they conceptualized, planned and executed their artwork.

    “The program takes key ideas from Rodman Hall’s summer exhibition Carry Forward, such as how social and political biases get carried forward into how history is recorded, into the everyday lives of youth living in Niagara,” says Elizabeth Chitty, Rodman Hall Programming Officer.

    Chitty worked with community organizations and teachers to invite young artists from culturally diverse backgrounds to participate.

    Students spent several days at Rodman Hall exploring the ideas presented in Carry Forward, such as the complex history of documentation and power relations, engaging with colonialism, propaganda and authenticity.

    Participants were asked to consider how Rodman Hall itself is an archive, Friend says.

    “Students were encouraged to think about what an archive is, what it means to look at documents related to their own lives and how to use the archive as an art form to explore histories not well known.”

    Fifteen young artists from St. Catharines spent the week working with Visual Arts Professor Amy Friend to explore their family history and create new works of art.

    Working in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts darkroom as well as outside, the young artists used cyanotypes, silver gelatin prints and mixed media to engage with their own histories.

    Ness Griffin never met her grandparents or her extended family. Her family’s connection with their Haudenosaunee culture was cut in the Sixties Scoop.

    Working with reproductions of family photos that she made during the workshop, Griffin scratches out faces to represent her loss of connections with extended family.

    “It was a hard decision to make to cut up the photograph because it is deeply personal,” she said.

    Chimera Onyegbule also worked with photos of family she never met. Her great grandfather was born to a British father and Nigerian mother in the colonial era in Nigeria.

    “I call this piece The White Flag,” she says. “He’s like the white flag in a war between two sides.”

    The Grade 11 student at Holy Cross Catholic High School recently visited an aunt in London, England, where she learned more about her great grandfather.

    “I’ve always wanted to know more about my family history,” she says. “It’s important to keep stuff like this alive.”

    The pieces created through the special program will be featured during a public exhibition that will run until Sept. 2 in The Film House lobby of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The public is invited to attend the exhibition’s opening on Tuesday, July 17 from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.

    Carry Forward is on at Rodman Hall Art Centre until Sept. 2.

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  • New grad honoured for textile artwork

    Victoria Reid was recently honoured for her artwork, which was on display at Rodman Hall Art Centre as part of the Turnin’ this Car Around exhibition in April.

    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | by Alison Innes)

    The eye-catching pieces were hard to miss.

    Made from everyday materials, the headless human forms could be seen cascaded down a wall within Rodman Hall Art Centre, drawing attention and sparking conversations among visitors.

    Created by Victoria Reid, the pieces were featured during the VISA 4F06 Honours exhibition, Turnin’ this Car Around, in April, but continue to earn the young artist praise.

    Visual arts graduate Victoria Reid has been awarded the inaugural Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award. (Photo: Jimmy Limit)

     

     

    The June graduate was chosen to receive the inaugural Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award for her work. The honour is given to a graduating student for a piece of textile art and is intended to support the student’s continued artistic development.

    Reid’s figures, made from yarn, fabric scraps, plaster and packing tape, challenge the viewer to see bodies as objects taking up space.

    “The bodies are not human without their contents,” says Reid. “These sculptures embrace the oddity and the awkwardness of the human body, focusing on the fact that we are weird masses of matter and, together with soul, we become beings.”

    Reid says for as long as she can remember, she has been intrigued by textiles.

    “They have so much personality and can be handled with a variety of different methods to morph them into something new,” she says.

    It was her grandmother who taught her how to weave, stitch, sew, knit and crochet at an early age.

    Reid applied these more traditional ways of working with textiles to new ideas to create her award-winning work and cites Walker’s own work as inspiration.

    “Marilyn I. Walker’s piece in the first floor hall inspired me greatly this year with the variety in colour and texture, and the stitching together of different fabric patterns and materials,” she says.

    Reid’s pieces are cast from her own body and lend drama to the philosophical question of the mind-body dichotomy, writes Associate Professor Derek Knight in the exhibition catalogue.

    “References to the human body are rarely benign and Reid is no different when she describes her plaster figures as symbolizing the existential dilemma between spiritual life and physical existence,” he writes.

    Reid will be continuing her arts education this fall at the University of Western Ontario, where she is enrolled in a Master of Library and Information Science program to study Collections and Archive Management.

    “I want my future career to work with, influence and inform my art practice,” says Reid, who continues to create, show and sell her art. She is also working with Brock Visual Resources Librarian Lesley Bell for the summer.

    “Being awarded the Marilyn I Walker Textile art award means so much to me,” Reid says. “Working with textiles in my art is what I do and being awarded for something that I have worked hard on and put so much energy into is a great feeling. It makes me feel not only proud of myself, but thankful for all of the friends, family, peers and instructors who have helped and supported me along the way.”

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Department/Centre News, News