RE-create has started a new Expressive Arts Series called “RE-Shape” this January 2022.
RE-create and local Hamilton youth have been given the opportunity to explore their feelings about the pandemic through the arts in this RE-shape series.
We initially provided an Erasure Poetry & Collage workshop in preparation for the expressive arts group at RE-create. In this workshop, youth dissect a magazine text by picking out words that relate to their experience of the pandemic and pairing them with relevant photo material from magazines.
We hosted this workshop at The Brennan house and at COMPASS (an alternative education program for youth) to gather themes around youth experience of the pandemic. We had our first session this past Monday January 24th and the youth experimented with creating spontaneous imagery and explored their hopes for our time together in the group.
Youth have been excited to reconnect with the studio in an in-person way. We hope that this group will give an opportunity for youth to sift through some of their experiences of living within a pandemic in addition to simply allowing them to be together. We expanded our reach for participants to other youth agencies in Hamilton, and provided 3 out-of-house workshops for other organizations.
While themes of isolation, loneliness, and disconnection have bubbled up, we have noticed that most of themes are a both/and situation. Youth were feeling both disconnected and connected, youth were feeling both loss and gain, and youth were experiencing both loneliness and community.
It will be interesting to continue to explore and hold these “both/and” themes with the expressive art series, and be able to RE-shape our pandemic experience together in community.
Emma Silverthorne is the Outreach & Community Development coordinator for RE-create Outreach Art Studio.