Artists Interpret Mental Health Issues in a Myriad of Ways at #RWMFest20

We’ve already shared our top film picks for this year’s Rendezvous With Madness Festival, and wanted to alert you to the fact that there is also a very cool group art show happening, as part of the Festival, that you can explore and experience virtually. 

While it would have been nice to explore all corners of the building-wide exhibit, the spike in COVID numbers prevented in-person viewing—but you can still check out provocative art at every turn through the virtual tour. Each art piece challenges perspectives about mental health in totally unique ways. We were especially drawn to Jenny Chen’s Multitude of Fish, which explores anxiety with an installation featuring 1000 hand made clay fish, and Kristine White’s Mad Fairy Tales, which examines LGBTQ2S+ trauma by reinterpreting classic fairy tales from a queer perspective. And that’s just two of the 20+ exhibits that are part of the RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE show.

Here are a few others we love, and some even involve audience interaction, that can be done from comfort of home!

Laura Shintani: Neuroelastic (See photo above)

Neuroelastic is an interior selfie and an invitation to an altered way of being. Collect some ribbon, or pick up some from the Workman Arts building (they have a kit you can pick up, once you purchase your ticket), and get ready to wrap them around your body while asking yourself a series of questions. Intrigued? More info here. 

Rochelle Richardson: Queen Latifah Give Me Strength

Deeply personal and poignant, Queen Latifah Give Me Strength centres around a woman’s struggle with her identity and her expectations of being disregarded and ignored by the medical industry, and the frustration, isolation and raving madness that comes with being a Black woman who must rely on medical professionals to stay alive. More info. 

Medication Meditation: Kara Stone

Medication Meditation is a single player game about the daily experience of living with mental illness. We downloaded it to our phone, and were really impressed with how it worked, from guided affirmations to helping us breathe a little slower.  What Stone has created forces users to consider care in our society, both from medical professionals, but also self care. Try it! 

Longernin Collective: Post-Part

If you’re able to visit the exhibit on Dufferin Street, you’ll have a chance to enter the room installation with sound design. If not, you can listen to the audio from home, which includes layers of women sharing stories about early motherhood, and the effects of postpartum depression and anxiety. For someone with a six year old, it instantly brought me back to month one with an infant. More info.

Mad Poetry Apothecary

Join multidisciplinary artist and creative writer, Hanan Hazime, for an online poetry workshop on October 21st at 3pm. Instead of psychiatric medicine, participants of “The Mad Poetry Apothecary” will be prescribed creative prompts that encourage mental wellness. Participants will be guided through the creation of mixed-media poetry postcards and given the opportunity to virtually showcase their work. Do something out of the ordinary and sign up for this

There is so much to explore at #RWMFest20, and all tickets are PWYW (Pay What You Wish). It fascinates us to see how artists interpret mental health—so much healing is gained through creativity. Don’t miss out

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