Making Room began in the winter of 2008 as an exploration into the relationship between intentional silence and collaborative art-making.
Our experience is that both art and silence comes out the dynamic tension between strong artistic leadership that is framed around the stories, experiences, personalities of the core group that includes PARC members, lead artists and friends who have decided to join us.
Out of this shared centre of trust and friendship, we continue to reach out to the larger PARC membership through weekly workshops at the open drop-in, through our mural and fragment projects and now by sharing our hidden stories related to food.
Named by a participant during that first session, bringing sand and water together reminds us of the connection between spirit and matter and the connection between them.
This year, we are proposing our most ambitious project yet: the creation of a number of handmade rafts that carry art, stories and ourselves into the actual Lake Ontario in order to explore this connection to the shore – this space between land and lake.
Our purpose is not to escape but rather to look back and see our lives from a different angle.
June 2008: “The Waters that Become Us” explored places and times of quiet amidst the rush and hurry of Parkdale and established the importance of the lake in this process. We also began to look at Parkdale as a metaphorical river where people move up and down daily as well as a place where people and things are washed up on its shores
June 2009: “The Book of Lost Things” was launched at the Books and Bread Festival and explored the theme of personal and collective loss in a manner both whimsical and emotional. This event also included the ceremonial weaving of “The Parkdale Bread Book” a collaborative project between three Parkdale organizations: Greenest City, Parkdale Project Read, and Parkdale Neighbourhood Church.
In the fall of 2009, we began an important partnership with Painting our Stories Community Mural Project. This collaboration led to the creation of the “Searching for the Sky” mural near the corner of Queen and Cowan, with Joshua Barndt as lead artist.
June 2010: “Recipes for a Good Life:” asked the question of what is healthy for us, and other deeper questions related to sustenance despite the losses we have experienced
June 2011: “There is Enough”: Last year, we brought together the themes of loss and sustenance by looking at scarcity and abundance from a number of angles including the perspective of “the Two Parkdales”. We will explore these themes through our two main projects. Through our “Portraits of Silence” project we will post images of a cross-section of PARC members and friends with their eyes closed and in silence. We will also be mounting a number of light boxes in the basement of PARC, leading to the Sorauren Food Bank. These light boxes, designed by community designers Public Displays of Affection, will reflect the passion hiding beneath the surface of many food stories.