Showcasing the creations that were made during CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS Pen Pals Project Session #5 ~ From May. 13th to May. 26th 2021.
With only 24 to 48 hours as the turnaround goal for each piece, Creatives challenged themselves to create in a quick timeframe using their Matches piece for inspiration.
Creatives participants were matched in a back-and–forth creative expression for two weeks. The prompt for this Round was ‘Sweet Dreams,’ and all interpretations of this from ‘Day Dreaming’ and ‘Big Goals’ to ‘Nightmares’ & anything in-between.
The Creative Pen Pal journey reveals much more than artistic pieces alone ~ This experience can be a tool for self-reflection. Shared experiences and friendships blossom along the way. Like connecting with a great piece of art, connecting with a new person can be daring, frustrating, surprising, comforting, and awakening.
For professional or emerging artists, this project serves as an exciting chance to develop and expand in their artistic discipline or to try a new medium.
For others, having a Creative Pen Pal is a much-needed break from the social isolation that the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions have been imposing.
Either way, taking part in an online social activity group has many benefits, including increased well-being and social connections.
For many, it’s an exercise in personal growth ~ trusting strangers to contribute to a shared goal. Something beautiful begins to grow as the creative conversation takes on a life of its own and a new unspoken understanding and connection emerges.
All this culminates in a linear exhibit showcasing each unique conversation followed by an intimate artist group chat over zoom. Creatives are encouraged to discuss their emotions and inspirations for each piece and their creative process. We share tips and advice about all things creative. Please send us a message to learn how to get involved.
Enjoy the exhibit.
Rhiannon Barry, Project Coordinator
A Be Whimsi Art Loft creation
Mirta Ormazabal (Oakville, ON) & Rhiannon Barry (Niagara Falls, Ontario)
Kai Kristoff (Niagara Falls, ON) & Carol E Howard (Victoria, BC)
Tinamarie Jones & Stephen Rea (Oakville, Ontario)
Jane (Sylvan Lake, Alberta) & Jessica Compton (Hamilton, On)
It has been a while since I had a sweet dream during sleeping hours. My last sweet dream woke me as I
lay in your arms. I dreamt we had a baby. We never had a baby together in real life. I always
wondered what it would be like, to have a baby, and to be a parent with you. In my dream, the baby lay
sleeping between us in bed, swaddled in a white blanket and wearing a little white beanie. I think it
might have been a symbol of our love. The wondering about what kind of parents we would be soon
turned to self-doubt and fear. Knowing I was in a dream state, I wanted to hover longer, looking down
on our little family unit and not wanting to enter into a fully awakened state. I floated into a
daydreaming state for a few seconds before awakening to the sound of the fur babies rousing from their
sleep in their kennels at the foot of the bed.
What made the dream so sweet? The softness, innocence, warmth, pure whiteness, newness, wonder,
and gentle peace of the beings wrapped up in bed together, sheltered and comforted. The dream came
at a time when our interactions were less than tender. We were both in our own separate grieving
process due to each losing our mothers weeks apart. Too much loss too close together. The baby in bed
between us was a reminder of our love overshadowed but ever-present and in need of nurturing.
Artist Statment Piece #1: My first piece was inspired by an actual dream I had. Subconsciously I likely I had a deep need to
connect to birth and new life after a series of deep losses. My mother passed between Rounds 3 and 4.
My close aunt and mother-in-law passed between Rounds 4 and 5.
One Musical Note at a Time
As I prepare to enter the orchestral practice room, I carefully assemble my saxophone and adjust the
reed on the mouthpiece. I take out my electronic tuner and listen to a Concert B flat note. I focus on
the tone of the note. I place my instrument in my mouth and, using the right embouchure, blow the
same note. I keep a strong, steady flow of air coursing through the bell of the horn and make slight
adjustments to my embouchure in order to bring the tuner’s gauge to the upright position, so it was
neither sharp nor flat.
Then I enter the practice room and join the saxophone section, complete with soprano, alto, tenor and
baritone versions of the instrument. One by one, we pair up and each tune to the other, till we play the
single note in key and in unison. We become a singular sound and vibration without discord.
Section by section, woodwinds, brass, and percussion, the musicians walk on stage and take their seats
in their proper positions. The conductor enters, steps onto the riser, raises his baton and commands the
lead clarinetist on his extreme left to play the single note, Concert B flat. In turn, he brings in each
section, clarinets, flutes, saxophones, oboe, bassoon, trumpets, French horns, trombones, tubas and
tympani. As each section is brought on, individuals playing out of tune are singled out and asked to
make the necessary adjustments. This is done until close to 80 musicians play a Concert B flat note in
tune, sounding like a single note.
And then, the conductor introduces additional notes, one at a time, until melodious chords arise in
harmony and unison. A beautiful, coherent and balanced sound emerges after the painstaking process
of tuning in one note a time. And so it is in life and with one another as human beings. We reach
harmony within ourselves and with each other by focusing, listening and adjusting our vibrations, our
sounds and our energy one note and one step at a time.
Artist Statment for Piece #3: In response to my first piece, Jessica replied with the piano and a note saying she learned “one note a
time”. That prompted me to consider my experience playing in an orchestra and how harmonious
sound is created one note at a time.
Sometimes we walk a path of broken dreams or an absence of dreams. This path of cracked grey stone
is not a smooth one. A drought of inspiration has resulted in its break-up. Smattering of terra cotta
colours call for the return of the creative life force and entice the dreamer to dream again, live again.
It cries out for water, the flow of life itself. It cries out for healthy, rich soil, chlorophyll, hyphae, fungi,
sunlight, all the ingredients necessary for the rich green abundance of nature to thrive. It cries out for
plants and trees to take root and to form their network of electrical and sensing connections that ensure
the survival of the forest’s web of life from floor to canopy above.
Nature’s healing forest embraces the broken path, growing from it and through it, becoming part of the
fabric of the rich forest floor. It feeds the dreamer and restores its connection to a woodland family that
loves, senses and protects all the living things in it.
Artist Statement for Piece #5: Jessica’s two-toned abstract resembled a dried out, broken path. What that inspired in me was a desire
to bring colour, greenery, life and vibrant dreaming to it, perhaps coming from a place of loss and grief
recovery. I was also reading at the time “The Hidden Life of Trees” , as my retired spouse embarks on
training to become a Forest Therapy Guide
Elizabeth Tessier (Hamilton, Ontario) & Bobby Kumar (Brampton, ON)
to silent music
in the lush foliage
Visual cues hold you
braced by the
brandishing of skirting
Here the solitary tango
fan flip castenatas
to the voz raja
of gypsy cantaores.
I am the jalendor
to your duende,
a fold in your mantilla,
Oh Romani dancer
with your gracia.
Move your hands
flores y filigrana,
Hold your own, primo
give it your estampa
in your flowing flamenco
hold our attention
as only you can
in this vivid pleasure
of time passing
Adele Campbell (London, ON) & P Brent Thomas (Fonthill, ON)
‘The Journey’ (2 min read)
A tale of Erik great Conquourer, explorer, and Lord of the Vikings.
Erik, Chieftain, lord of the Vikings, leaned over the side of the ship. The water that ran through his fingers was as smooth as crystal; its purity showed as the longboat cut gently through it. At any other time, there would have been astonishment if they had not rowed for the past twelve days towards a now unknown destination. They had rowed for the past week in the cool water, and the novelty had run out.
The journey was one of hubris. Having conquered all close settlements, Erik was the lord of a great horde. He had raided the English and French lands bringing home boats full of plunder and slaves. What more was left to him? He was the greatest chieftain ever known. That night in the long hall had been met with trepidation as Erik brooded on his skin covered chair. All knew that there would be a challenge, but none knew what it would be.
“Who will come? Who will find Valhalla with me?” He had stood and shouted from his throne.
More than two dozen hardened warriors banged their cups on the table in anxious agreement. They were well drunk, but Erik held them to their word and sailed the next morning for Valhalla.
The old sorcerer had earned his gold and mapped out the end of the world where the sea meets the heavens. The unusual directions lent hope to Erik’s cause. The route was in no specific direction.
“Follow the sun in morning until the sea ends, do not give up hope, do not test the gods, and do not turn around.” The old sorcerer had received his payments, and the gods had been given all sacrifices required to bless the small fleet.
The lead ship was Erik’s own ‘Slaughter’ the greatest of the old Viking’s treasures. They were flanked by two additional boats that carried their warriors into the gathering mist each morning.
‘Nigel The Viking’ (6 min read)
A young boy who struggles with bullies and his place in the world is given a glimpse of who he really is, and the linage of strong men follows when he receives a book from his father.
Except from short story:
The three bullies turned and ran. Her focus was on her son, on his breathlessness. She walked calmly to him, picked him up by the arms, and brushed him off like he was a dog with burrs on him.
“Are you ok Nigel?” She paused to see his reaction, but he just stood on the front lawn, hands on his hips, gasping for air. ‘Oh, my poor little boy.’ She gave him a curious look. Nigel thought she was looking for the primary defect that had led him to this embarrassing situation. After a few seconds she inhaled deeply and took him up into her strong arms. ‘Don’t worry, Nigel; they are gone now. Why were they chasing you?’
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