I am very pleased to announce that yesterday in the mail I received an acceptance letter from the Ontario Arts Council for the Artists in the Community/Workplace grant. The project we proposed, called 1000 Candles, will be conducted at Hong Fook Mental Health – description below. I am very grateful to the Council for this excellent opportunity to engage the very talented and spirited client base at HF through the creative arts, permitting for the expression of their recovery stories.
1000 Candles: Workshop on Public Art, Hong Fook Mental Health
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. – The Buddha
Deriving its inspiration from the above quote, 1000 Candles is an initiative of Hong Fook Mental Health (HF) that will permit client artists to share their own inner light by creating works of public art. From June to September 2015, HF and guest artist/art therapist Paul Byron will conduct a 4-month series of weekly workshops inviting participants to explore their personal narratives by creating art, using the metaphor of Light to discuss themes of awakening and transformation. The first half of the workshop will introduce participants to the design process and visual storytelling, while the second takes this knowledge and applies it to making large scale paintings. Stories of recovery reside at the heart of this process. Participants will learn how to use art practically and expressively while sharing their life experiences in socially integrated group environments. Workshops will be run with established, culturally specific groups at Hong Fook, as well as in an open setting designed to foster cross-cultural exchange.
A final exhibition of client works will be held at Daniels Spectrum Artscape, coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week from the 5th-11th October. The entire experience will be documented in a catalogue, and made available at the exhibition and in independent distribution. We are currently interested to establish supporting partners for the purposes of event attendance and catalogue distribution, to ensure the maximum impact for this project.