|Slava Redov, Place near Kola Bay, Murmansk, Russia|
Rosa, Felixstowe Sea Front Gardens (in particular the little water feature), Felixstowe
Port-to-Port, a project commissioned by Pier Projects focused in Felixstowe UK, presented a series of public art events inspired by walking in real-time and online. Multidisciplinary artist, Alisa Oleva was selected by a panel of residents and the resulting work included contributions by residents and others worldwide. To start, Alisa invited Felixstowe residents to describe local places that resonated with or held special memories for them. A map of personal landmarks was created that then shaped Alisa’s thinking and process. Inspired by the internationalism and dynamism of Felixstowe, as port, each of the descriptive writings collected locally was sent to someone living in a different port town. This person was invited to respond. This signaled a call for action that sparked a relay of transmitted memories and shaped an interconnected web among people living near and far. There were 25 exchanges across all corners of the globe, many of these featured “walks through sound”. Postcards and audio readings of these writings became symbolic of these locations ‘meeting’.
The photographs of the paired towns are overlaid in postcard form creating a visual hybrid of these places. Whilst the contributors are unlikely to meet face-to-face, they feel the presence of another person’s life elsewhere. Similarly, the audio was formed of mirrored recordings, with resident voices describing the memories and places locally and beyond Felixstowe.
Port-to-Port, as project, was comprised of a deep-listening workshop, two artist-led walks, a printed edition set of postcards, a Slow Salon (an online discussion), and a live broadcast audiowalk featuring collected sound material and recordings.
Sound Artist: Olesia Onykiienko (also known as NFNR)
Postcards Design: Uliana Bychenkova
Commissioned Text: Gudrun Filipska (https://www.pierprojects.org/writing)
Technical Support (Broadcast): Timothy Maxymenko
Slow Salon Contributors: Diana Berg, Natalie Pace, Maria Sarycheva
Catalina Carvajal, Felixstowe, UK - Hannah Reeves, Ipswich, UK
Annie Watson, Felixstowe, UK - Pam Patterson, Picton, Canada
Gill Bellenie, Felixstowe, UK - Duncan Stuart, Gothenburg, Sweden
Natalie Pace, Felixstowe, UK - Greg Giannis, Reservoir, Victoria, Australia
Chris Smithers, Felixstowe, UK - Daniel Payne, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dawn Pretty, Felixstowe, UK - Natalka Revko, Odessa, Ukraine
Amanda Bowden, Felixstowe, UK - Vira, Mariupol, Ukraine
Laura Locke, Felixstowe, UK - Ekaterina Tokareva, Auckland, New Zealand
Alli Burke, Felixstowe, UK - Katerina Verba, Novorossiysk, Russia
Caroline Corker, Felixstowe, UK - Eliza Soroga, Diakofti, Kythira island, Greece
Kate, Felixstowe, UK - Jennifer Hattam, Istanbul, Turkey
Rosa, Felixstowe, UK - Slava Redov, Murmansk, Russia
Donna Duncan, Felixstowe, UK - Daryna Kyrychenko, Singapore
Marion Jepson, Felixstowe, UK - Johnny Tal, Haifa, Israel
Annie Watson, Felixstowe, UK - Claude Wittmann, Toronto, Canada
Colin Millar, Felixstowe, UK - Blake Morris, Brooklyn, New York City, USA
Gideon Bowden, Felixstowe, UK - Nobuko Hayashi, Rotterdam, Holland
Caroline Corker, Felixstowe, UK - Aurora De Santis, Civitanova Marche, Italy
Anonymous, Felixstowe, UK - Guillaume, Biarritz, France
Edie, Felixstowe, UK - Mar Salvá, Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Lauren Carr, Felixstowe, UK - Elspeth ( Billie) Penfold, Whitstable, Kent, UK
Holly, Felixstowe, UK - Saulius Kmita, Neringa, Lithuania
S A Cartwright, Felixstowe, UK - C.C., Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Christian Hadwen, Felixstowe, UK - Masha Zhuravleva, Vladivostok, Russia
Catalina Carvajal, Felixstowe, UK - Ursula Troche, Maryport, UK
Voices: Rowan Foot, Clare Baker, Louise Stratford, Bryony Graham (Felixstowe resident and Director of Hamilton MAS, the micro arts space by the sea), Vicky Burling, Emma Foot, Wade Ablitt (Actor, Cafe owner), Stephen Blyth, Elly Clarke, Victoria Petchey (Artist, gallery owner), Steph Merrett (Library Manager), Joanna Blyth.
Pier Projects is a contemporary visual art agency working in and inspired by the coastal town of Felixstowe in Suffolk, UK. Programmes include:
Artist Commissions: They commission emerging and mid-career artists to develop projects beyond the gallery, where they believe the impact of art to be most potent.
Youth Programme: They work in partnership with Level Two Youth Project to develop co-creative skills, education and confidence with children and young adults.
Artist Support: They support artists through 1-1 mentoring and run a programme of talks (Slow Studios) and events (Slow Socials) to aid knowledge-sharing and networking.
Within the specific context of the coast and the backdrop of the climate emergency, their work explores connections between art and health which they consider expansively to include physical, social and environmental wellbeing. By delivering their work through ‘borrowed infrastructure’ and in unconventional locations, they strive to keep community participation at the core of what they do, stay nimble and responsive in changing times and maintain a low carbon footprint.
Pier Projects was founded in 2017 and is led by curator Natalie Pace and arts educator Louise Stratford. They came together through shared interests in endurance swimming and running which informs non-dualistic approaches to art and health.
Pier Projects is a registered CIC, operating as a not-for-profit. www.pierprojects.org
Alisa Oleva holds a BA and MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art and an MA in Performance from Goldsmiths. Since 2014 she has worked as an artist in London, across the UK & internationally. She treats the city as her studio and urban life as material, to consider issues of urban choreography and urban archeology, traces and surfaces, borders and inventories, intervals and silences, passages and cracks. Her projects have manifested as a series of interactive situations, performances, movements scores, personal and intimate encounters, parkour, walkshops, and audio walks. Her practice engages with urban space, working site-specifically, with communities and collectively. Oleva’s practice works with the everyday and the accessible and by shifting it opens up new perspectives and perceptions.
Website - https://www.olevaalisa.com/
Alisa Oleva was guest artist for the undergraduate courses Materials and the Anthropocene and Art & Design Education Lab at OCAD University, 2020 - 2021. As a result of this, Alisa Oleva contributed to OCAD research on COVID Pedagogies
Understanding Place and Positionality
Artists: Angie Ma, Vicky Talwar, Siheng Wang
Curator: Ella Taylor
Opens May 11, 2-3.30 PM to Sept 2022.
Drawing on shared experience, artists Angie Ma, Vicky Talwar, and Siheng Wang in Navigating Belonging explore the complexities of racialized cultural identity through self-reflective creative practices. The individual works present a narrative viewing of the artists’ past and present experiences relating to immigration, belonging, and identity. Viewed dialogically, these artworks offer a framework for engaging with the entangled layers of cultural identity and intercultural relations.
Also, as art educators, the artists consider how the application of creative storytelling in learning contexts can reveal and support the diverse experiences of students. Their uniquely critical and creative approaches can assist their students in acquiring deeper understandings of the complexities of their cultural identities.
Navigating Belonging then becomes a representation of artistic process and acts as a visual manifestation of how art educators can contend with these “troubling issues” in pedagogy.
The exhibition encourages viewers to consider how creative storytelling can facilitate a critical reflection of subject positions and how this reflection may inform or change how we think about identity.
Siheng Wang is a scholar and educator. His research explores inclusive design and the experiences of international students. In I Don't Want to Act Like That, Siheng uses video to re-enact the awkward moments he has encountered while studying in English-speaking countries. Although Siheng draws on his own experiences, the stories he shares reflect the common language and cultural barriers that international students encounter when first arriving in an English-speaking environment.
The cartoon series The Instructor May Want to… presents support proposals for instructors to better help their Asian English Language Learners (ELL) international students engage in their studies. The proposals represent the research produced by a focus group co-design session that included OCAD U students from Bangladesh, South Korea, and China. By showing how students respond to faculty's different teaching practices, the project aims to educate faculty about students' needs and dispel misunderstandings and miscommunications caused by stereotypes.
Siheng Wang: I Don't Want to Act Like That
Vicky Talwar is an Interdisciplinary artist and educator. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Ontario College of Art and Design and a Bachelor of Education from York University. Vicky has just completed an MFA in the Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design program at OCAD University.
Vicky draws upon her personal experience as a Hindu Canadian to produce painting, mixed media, and installation artwork. In her artistic practice, she addresses themes of cultural hybridity, displacement, movement, and memory. Her paintings express the complexity of her identity by embracing vibrant colour and textured materiality. Talwar uses reoccurring spiritual motifs including intertwining flower garlands, mala beads, sacred threads, and salt to create a sense of presence and intention while playful brushstrokes and an indistinct, atmospheric background produce a feeling of in-betweenness and transcendency.
Vicky Talwar: A Journey of Deep Transformation
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas, 30 x 40 inches, 2020
Angie Ma recently graduated with a BFA (DRPT major) from OCAD University. In her work, she reflects on her Chinese Canadian identity, expressing her thoughts, memories, and desires through watercolour painting. In her research, she reflects on art education experiences for both the educator and student in the learning moment. She uses storytelling to create dialogues that connect experiences and people, with the emphasis on community-based learning. Angie is currently Assistant, Head of Education, Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto.
She explores the complex narratives surrounding home, belonging, and identity with the experience of immigration. Inspired by Trinh T. Minh-ha’s possibility of finding an “elsewhere within here” when belonging to neither the native or adopted home, Angie reflects on the possibilities of nature as “elsewhere” through a series of watercolour paintings which contrast and intersect aspects of Eastern and Western identities. She has facilitated workshops for OCAD students who feel the challenges of displacement by animating dialogue around identity without boundaries, building connection, and finding a home within ourselves and with each other.