This installation was created by the artists of the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts’ collective, a group of artists with developmental disabilities. Beginning with one member, the collective has expanded to include over 200 artists whose works have been exhibited locally, , across Canada, and internationally. As per their vision statement, The Nina believes in the importance of creation and exhibition of art by those who face barriers to artistic expression.
Created in their studio on Alberta Avenue, this work of art is a response to the play The Land of Shadows and the Land of Lights by Charlie Peters with Elizabeth Hobbs commissioned by the Silver Skate Festival in 2022 with support from the Edmonton Arts Council.
The collective began by considering which of two possible stories, The Land of Lights and the Land of Shadows or The Tree That Wanted to Dance, they would rather create in response to. After much deliberation (and several tied votes) they chose the former. The artists began by discussing the story, its meaning for them and the world. They imagined how creatures that were shadows and lights would look, exploring how they might float, and what a wall might look like to such creatures.
In the end, the artists decided to craft the shadow and lights figures out of galvanized wire. They then attached LED lights to these wire skeletons and covered them with a cheesecloth skin using a fabric mȃché technique. They then painted the shadows black and applied fluorescent paint to make glowing designs on each. They made walls of plywood to complete their interpretation of the story.
Specific artists involved in the creation of this work include Jared Quinney, Joel Youb, Roy Skoreyko, Aba Garbrah, Amynah Pirani, Carl Philips, Carrie Reed, Erin Lepine, Carrie Wheeler, Brenda Lapointe, Bonnie Blackburn, Sophie Connell, and Dale Donahue.
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