Sometimes I have to work really hard at listening to my insides in order to be inspired. And sometimes lightning strikes. As they say.
I was surfing around looking at opportunities to enter juried art exhibitions and I stumbled across the Mindful Project. This is a program that is running for the third year in a row by the City of New Market. The purpose is "to end stigma and promote progressive, positive conversations around mental health and wellness".
The exhibition also recognizes Canadian Mental Health Association's Mental Health Week (May 6-12) and the National Youth Week. "
This year's theme is Roots/Routes. It is a very open theme and the call is for artwork that can relate to this theme. When I read about it, it just electrified me. I have had so many ideas about what I could create for this show. And every single idea I have had involves YOU.
Mental health is a daily conversation in my house. And I can't remember a time when I didn't have to fight my way out of my own head every morning. It is a part of my "roots". But I am so blessed at the path/"route" my journey has taken. My roots have helped me be an advocate and supporter for my family in their journeys.
For this show I will be submitting a proposal to create a sculpture to start conversations about mental health and wellness. When the audience approaches the piece, I want it to speak, not just in my voice, but in many voices. Motion activated recorders are small and can be easily concealed in a variety of ways. This is where I need your help.
I am collecting personal stories as short audio recordings that relate to the theme of roots and routes for this show. If you can find the courage to share your story, it could reach someone in a new way and start a conversation that might not happen otherwise. I am asking you to collaborate with me to create new communication routes to the heart of mental health which is the people it impacts.
I have attached an audio file of my own to demonstrate the type of recording I am looking for. This is one little piece of my true story. Find it at the bottom of this page.
Recordings can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org (my personal email address)
The recording could be anywhere from 45 seconds to 2 mins. I may shorten some recordings if they are long so I can get a good mix of voices and stories. I would like to receive recordings by February 20th.
I understand this is a deeply personal request. All identities will be kept confidential but the stories will be shared, so please be aware that people who know you may recognize your voice if they visit the exhibit. The recording may also be shared on my website accompanied by pictures of the final submission. This piece, if successful, may also be exhibited in other locations. Above all, be safe and look after the safety of your family. I also ask for no profanity since the exhibit would be in a public space.
Some questions to help you think about your story:
By sending a recording you agree that I can use it in any manner as a part of an art installation, and it may be combined with other recordings. It may also be shared on my website as an audio file, in whole or in part. I agree I will not reveal the identities of the people submitting the recordings but that I have no control over whether your voice is recognized.
This is a juried show, which means I have to apply to be in the show. There is no financial prize or compensation. Judges will decide if my piece gets into the show but regardless, I will still create the sculpture and try to share it somewhere, somehow. Maybe even in our own Waterloo region.
Read the description of the call for work here or check the website for more information. https://www.newmarket.ca/MentalHealth
"Artists and makers are invited to articulate their roots or routes in relation to Mental Health and wellness through visual arts. Your roots are personal to your past and self-identity. Your roots can lead you to follow certain routes or charter new ones along your personal journey. Your experiences along these routes are important because they can transform you and affect your mental well-being."
Thank you in advance for your support! I am grateful for this community.