The concept of forgiveness comes from a deep and personal understanding of notions of compassion, empathy and resilience. In this iteration of The Forgiveness ProjectTO, I invited visitors to engage and reflect on feelings of pride, belonging, attachment, detachment, displacement, or generational trauma often triggered by the complexities of the term “homeland”. “This community art project allowed participants to explore these complex feelings through writing and mark-making on sheets of Japanese paper. Then they ceremoniously tore through their creations and stitched them into a grid, thus meshing them with the experiences of others. The process created a space for healing, connection and transformation. As a performative action, the textile piece was burned towards the end of the exhibition and the ashes were displayed in the gallery space along with documentation video. After the exhibition, ashes will be spread in the Grey County area and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) territory in a symbolic gesture of circling back to the land.
The project was commissioned by ArtworxTO for the exhibition Home(land) a three part series curated by Claudia Arana. Homeland ran from June 15-October 2, 2022 at the ArtworxTO Hub West at Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke.