PROCESS: Sewadham Ashram is a lifetime shelter and rehabilitation center for the homeless, helpless, disabled and destitute where caring is for all without any discrimination of caste, creed, region, age and sex.
While working in Ujjain, India I was given the opportunity to volunteer and work with the women at Sewhadham, where I spent hours sitting and being with them. with them. Great as this might appear the women have limited access to the outside, any extra activities, let alone creativity. Originally I would simply chated and sat with the women communicating through an interpreter with minimal connection or understanding. As I sat with the women I realized my great connection is my art.and creative thinking. What is cheap, creative and doable anywhere. So I began bringing in colouring books for the bedridden elderly women and children and chalk for all the women. (Chalk has many benefits, cheap, can be washed away or simply erased.
During the weeks I was visiting I noticed the colouring books were full of pictures that the residents could not relate: ballons, rocketships, brick houses, cats basically images that had no relevence to the women and children at rural India.
While sitting and watching I started documenting the drawings before they disappeared. They were imaginative, culturally informed, playfull and relevant.
THE RESULT: I simple series of colouring books drawn by the women. Coloring books, made by the women for the women and children that are local and relevent.
The books bridged the 2 womens facilities. The books became relevent coloring books for the children. The books worked as a fund raiser for Sewadham Ashram. The books are a a sense of pride and inspiration
Rural India, Ujjain a pilgrimage city.
The city of Ujjain, located on the banks of the Kshipra River in Madhya Pradesh, is one of the most ancient Indian cities, smack in the middle of rural lndia. Povery and religion dominate.
Working at a new Indian university I spent months in the main town of Ujjain and rural villages near Lekoda. I would walk and bike along the roads and paths in the early morning or evening..
As an outsider I assumed (rightly or wrongly) that life was pretty shitty for most of the street dwellers, transient workers and villagers. Many had little and I wondered what could I contribute without a colonialist, imperialist bias. I wondered if I could give them something small, portable and concrete, while making a beginning link between us. Photobombing.
Over a 6 months period I walked, ran and biked taking 100’s of photos. Each person photgraphed was given a printed copy. If I could not find them later I would leave the photos posted where I had taken them.
The results were engaging and diverse. People came and went. Some bought their families to bus stops to be photgraphed. Others connected me with friends and families. Some were just happy for a family photo.
“Act so the effects of your actions are compatible with the permance of human life, “ Hans Jonas
Pasadena stories: Working with and in the community, we produced a series of experimental audio stories and portraits. Stories are an essential part of culture, they connect and create a sense of place and community. Contextualized stories can link communities. So by collecting personal experiences as audio and creating interactive spaces on public transport, with mobile devices, and through huge public wall drawings draped over public buildings the localized Art have connected and inspired while creating dialog, connecting disparate peoples, and exposing a commonality. The local coffee shop Perry’s Joint Cafe is now committed to having on-going artists in residence, students and teachers were exposed to alternate teaching methodologies that have been implemented, while Pasadena transit is open to further art experiences. Librarians and police were educated in the importance of art as process and dialog.
<amy thanks to Marco Schidelmann - audio and experimental sound
Families Forward Learning Center - Generously opened their doors to me and the families and friends trusted me drawing, teaching and collecting stories. http://www.familiesforwardlc.org
Pasadena Transit - THe bus drivers were amazing as I got to know them travelling on the buses for hours on end.
Perry's Joint Cafe live drawing
Families first parent and child
Embeding myself in the NW Pasadena community I worled with and in the Families Forward Learning Center.
Banners with QR codes & digital links connected viewers to online audio stories The banners were on the buses and buildings on buses in North Pasadena and the civic center of downtown Pasadena
6021 Shopfront was an experimental space that exists today as a Latinx artspace and gallery. Art is not a luxury yet carries our cultural legacies. Overlaying a community Art can play a relevant and practical catalyst for change and 6021 evolved into such a space.
By immersing myself as a professional artist in the community I explored many different ways to address the communities concerns culturally economically and socially. 6021 became a place in the community without boundaries. It connected and created links between residents, businesses, transients, community leaders and those without a voice.
6021 put poetry into shop windows, created guerrilla public performances in the local buses. 6021 supported young artist professionals and businesses providing free residencies, classes, graphic dsign and mentoring for local talent. 6021 bought Art to the community, taking and making portraits, intiating video projects and simply acting as a space open for all. We explored alternate spaces such as barbershops, libraries and vacant lots to engage the public through projects such as animations placed on barbershops TV’s and unplugged performances on buses.
Unplugged Performances: was a collaboration with 6021 shopfront, Michele Obama Library and Long Beach Transit. Working with the local North Long Beach community I curated, promoted and organized 7 live performances on public buses. This project was developed in response to the communities desire for a platform to engage the public with poetry and performance. The artists were local as well as national, amateur, professional and all volunteered their time and talent performing and playing to a mobile audience on buses and at bus stops.
street worker animation
2007 - PP
Trulyruly connects designers with communities.. Artist with makers. People who want to make objects and want to know the best practices. Transparency in process and beautiful in practice. We are in the business of bettering the practice of designing, making and selling objects. I have many years of experience in the Art, Design, Craft and travel worlds. I am a creative thinker and a practical business woman who is promoting sustainable product production. Hand loom, hand crafted, hand spun, toxic free transparent and ethical. Get to know who makes the things you buy. The most beautiful products are made by people. You can design your own, or simply connect with the makers locally and globally.