The Forgiveness Project TO: St. Joseph's Health Centre
The Forgiveness Project Toronto was a community arts initiative in collaboration with St. Joseph’s Health Centre which ran from April – June 2021. Through a series of 8 Zoom workshops, our project brought art and mindfulness to people with substance use disorder. We tore through our feelings of shame by exploring self compassion, forgiveness, mindfulness as well as artmaking techniques that celebrate the imperfect.
Our participants connected with each other as they learned new skills. These included meditation, mindful writing and doodling exercises, printmaking and stitching. All these new skills culminated in a crazy paper quilt of torn and stitched, hand-printed squares. The final piece, stitches our collective pasts together as something new and positive. It reminds us that it's our connection to each other that heals us and allows us to forgive.
The workshops were facilitated by Robyn Alexander, addiction counsellor at St. Joseph’s Health Centre and me. Thank you Ontario Arts Council for funding The Forgiveness Project Toronto. In December 2021, the paper quilt will be installed permanently at St. Joe's.