Syrus Ware at the AGO discussing storytelling and community mapping in preparation for participants developing their own tours, 2008
Role: Curator, Local Programming (Co-produced with production manager Seema Jethalal.)
“Regent Park, Regent Park / R.P., R.P. / What do people want to think about this small city? / What do people want to think about me? / Regent Park, Regent Park / My park / My R.P. / Cause it’s funny – the only thing that binds us close together down here, under bad weather, is our history/ Our history, our roots / Home”
Charita Edwards, Workshop Participant 2008
Livingspace was a process driven exhibition rooted in an earnest attempt to reflect Regent Park – an oasis of diversity and Canada’s pioneering social housing project. The soul of this process was ten-weeks of workshops and collaborations between artists and a group of local youth. This group of ‘kids’ humbled some of the most experienced programmers and street artists with their creative ability, passion for learning and the gravity they have generated at the core of this program. Around this dynamo, artists, documentarians, curators, local community leaders, historians and guest mentors had the opportunity to feed in their ideas, stories, and experiences and explain their creative modes. Some remained in a close orbit of exchange, others have flung off on wide trajectories – all have come away from the workshop sessions amazed, excited, refreshed and highly motivated. From Dan Bergerons’s posters of watchful residents — to Kothari and Paterson’s celebratory echoes of shared paths — to the five mural sites the audience encountered on a personalized tour — the works were bound by collaboration. The lines between individual works were blurred as photos shot by youth participants and mentors one day are repurposed in the next for murals and posters. Notes are turned to stencilled poems and abandoned doodles into giant splashes of colour. The physical application of these is filmed, pulled back into the projections and the process was amplified to pushing process and voice to the fore.