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above photos by Laurie-Anne Baptiste

     Update April 2021: A Project Proposal by DAME REB

      I am producing an exhibit event that will bring together artists from various communities and cultures. The event itself is intended to be held in Montreal in the summer of 2021 as an exhibition of art and performance. (The date may be pushed back due to gathering circumstances and project development.) What artists will be collaborating on are the themes assigned to my bird sculptures, all of which have names, characters and attitudes that can be elaborated on and brought to life with the talents of all artists involved.

      Each individual sculpture has an intended theme as well as a message. These sculptures have become expressions of myself and I am inviting other artists to expand their stories and relevance to be acknowledged and appreciated by different art communities. I invite photographers to develop an image that expresses the intended attitude and theme of a piece. Collaborating with them, I share my intentions, thoughts and my vision and I welcome their suggestions and elaborations that trickle from our initial brainstorming. The result is a visual collaboration that surpasses my individual vision every time: the beauty of what 2 minds can create. What can become of more minds involved in the creative process and beyond visual stimulation? Let’s see! I then invite musicians to create an audio-elaboration on the theme and message of a piece. I usually will instruct a certain ‘feel’ for the music and if there are lyrics, I ask that they are structured within the intended message. Other than that, artists are invited to develop on what speaks to them and to create a unique rendition that connects yet another perspective to the initial theme. I don’t believe that art should be static, and already with these involvements, we attain a fluidity that develops across the senses. But to extend yet beyond that, I invite dancers or performance artists to choreograph and express what they feel in listening to the message and the assigned musical composition, adding another visual artistic cooperation. Originally these dances were visualized as a ‘shadow dance’ performed with exaggerated movement behind a sheet and in tandem with lighting artists that can be invited to compose a lighting choreography with the composition. However, I am open to anything that a dancer may want to do to express from their artistic perspectives.

      The outcome of these collaborations is intended to be displayed at the event in a gallery-type venue with a stage for performance. The canvased themed pictures will be mounted on the wall at intervals, with each respective sculpture sitting on a podium in front of it. ‘Behind the scenes’ photos and accessories will be posted on the walls in between the artworks telling the story of the making of this project: photos depicting, for example, the location for a shoot and the photographer prepping her gear, or a band in the recording studio (videos can also be shared!), accessories such as the seashell bra that was worn at a mermaid shoot, etc.

      The goal for this first exhibit is to display 6 bird sculptures with their 6 elaborated themes. At timed intervals, a spotlight will be set on the podium and wall-mounted canvas picture while the music artist performs their designated composition. The dancer or performer can coordinate with the music artist whether to share the stage or perform independently with a recording. The event itself will be recorded and produced into an exciting montage video to be shared by each artist involved to their communities and cultures and expand into as many hearts as we can. The intention is to show how the collaborating artists were brought together and how their energies were fueled towards a shared goal in relating a thought, a theme, a message, which travels and transforms across each individual perspective and, when combined, creates a unique vision and a new perspective to be shared by all.

above photos by Marisa Parisella


above photos by Yorgis