PhotoVOICE offers a unique and creative way for participants to communicate a message to the community and stakeholders by promoting discussion about a social issue; an avenue to creating positive social change.
Holism, our project theme, is the idea that considers a person’s needs in all aspects of their life which includes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements. Guided by the Aboriginal teachings of the medicine wheel, as well as using photography and raw and synthetic art materials, the participants were able to capture their perspective on holistic wellness. Our eight participants, each of Aboriginal descent, examined each segment and put it to life through their twelve week journey. Using photography as their main medium, the participants expressed their feelings and opinions about their health through their own lens. A unique adaptation to this project was the addition of traditional and contemporary art mediums to amplify the photos to produce didactic imagery.
Historically, Aboriginal teachings have been documented by the use of symbols. Taking this concept into consideration, we utilized the drum and hide stretcher hoop as the canvas frame for our project. The allegory of the drum created a heart beat in each piece which legitimized the view of the participant. The hide stretcher hoop, traditionally used for pelt drying and stretching, symbolizes the cycle of life and the participant’s artistic contribution displays their efforts to balance it.
Larry McLeod, Nipissing First Nation Elder, supported the patients by providing traditional teachings and shared his wisdom on holism and self-growth.
For the traditional and contemporary art component, the participants were supported by Northern Ontario Professional Artist, Michael Cywink, who helped us materialize our vision whilst encouraging our participants with their creativity.
May 4, 2012 – Gallery Preview – 6 to 9 pm
May 7, 2012 – Grand Opening
To kick off National Mental Health Week events
1:00 – 4:00 pm & 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
(For the remainder of the week will return to regular gallery hours)
We invite you to share in their journey.
Group Facilitators: Tamara Dube, Bill Butler, Joanne Morrison, and Stephanie Peltier
Documentary directed and produced by Ed Regan, Regan Pictures.
Special Thanks: Michael Cywink, Ontario Northland, Kashechewan First Nation, White Water Gallery, Spirit Point, Duane Linklater, Larry McLeod, Regan Pictures, and Image Works.
For more information, please contact Tamara Dube at 705.474.8600 x3706.