RE:GENERATE: A Journey of Creative Resilience






Maybe we need interventions. Maybe we need something to give us a moment to take a step to the side. Not a step back, just a step to the side. And just take a moment to pause and realign, and recalibrate, and redefine what matters.\n\n![Artist Kat Singer.](assets\/National\/blog\/a-step-to-the-side\/singer.jpg){.small}\nMultimedia artist, maker, activist and educator Kat Singer, who will be guiding attendees through the collaborative creation of sculptures from reclaimed materials, has found personal healing in similar work. \"My work helps me process whatever I am going through at the moment,\" explains Kat. \"As I build a figure, stitch by stitch, I contemplate the meanings behind my struggles, and honour my story. When a sculpture is complete, I often feel relieved, since I have a much better understanding of what I am dealing with.\" The sculptures Kat will be making with visitors at CD@L will take the form of trees, which, they explain, represent ideas of growth, resilience and adaptability \u2013 key components of wellness.\n\n![Textile sculpture. Photo courtesy of Kat Singer.](assets\/National\/blog\/a-step-to-the-side\/singer-textile-sculpture-detail.jpg)\n\nJaene F. Castrillon, whose work combines art and activism with spirituality, also has a personal story of finding improved well-being through art. \"My entire practice came into being in 2013 after bouts of chronic illness and pain rendered me disabled,\" Jaene explains. \"My art has become an adventure that celebrates the brilliance and heartbreak of living a life less ordinary \u2013 creating an alternative to harmful notions around wellness, illness and worthiness, honouring art as medicine by taking up space and digging into myself.\"\n\nAt CD@L, Jaene will offer a dreamcatcher workshop, where Indigenous elders will share their knowledge on the significance of the dreamcatcher while participants create their own. \"It is said by some that they let our good dreams through and diffuse our bad dreams so they don't return. A good night's sleep is [an] integral part of wellness,\" she explains. \n\n![Artist Jaene F. Castrillon, _A Celebration of Darkness_. Photo courtesy of Jaene F. Castrillon.](assets\/National\/blog\/a-step-to-the-side\/castrillion-a-celebration-of-darkness.png)\n\nWhile Jaene, Kat and Kanika are multidisciplinary artists with diverse approaches to their respective crafts, all agree on the fundamental nourishing essence of creativity. \"Creativity ought to be recognized for its crucial role in a healthy lifestyle, and given the time and space it deserves,\" says Kat. \"[Art] has been a source of joy and healing for me. When I share my art with others, I invite them to nourish what is already inside them: resilience, beauty, and joy.\"\n\nAnd what better place to undertake these activities of creativity and connection than the library, which, for Jaene, represented a childhood sanctuary against hardship and abuse: \"I feel that I survived my very bleak childhood because I could borrow books by authors like Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe. [\u2026] Libraries have been intrinsic to my survival and upbringing.\"\n\nKanika, who tries to reduce barriers in her artistic practice, values the library as a space of accessibility. \"In theory, it doesn't discriminate, [if] you're a newcomer to the city, you have special needs, whatever it may be. [\u2026] It's a public space that's welcoming to everyone, that fosters knowledge and growth.\"\n\nWith six artist-led programs taking place, there are ample opportunities for knowledge and growth, and to explore what Kanika calls \"the natural human urge\" of creativity. \n\n>So many people stop themselves, like, 'oh, I can't make art, I'm not good,' or whatever stories or inhibitions they have. That's why I'm excited to do a program like this for Culture Days, because it's really for everyone. And it doesn't matter if you think you're good or bad. What matters is if you're interested, you're curious, you wanna be creative, you wanna explore yourself, and you just wanna try something new.\n>> \u2013 Kanika Gupta\n \nOn September 27 and 28, try something new with Culture Days @ the Toronto Public Library.\n\n\n**Culture Days @ the Library is an initiative of Ontario Culture Days, curated by Meaghan Froh Metcalf, Outreach & Programs Manager, for it's ninth iteration in 2019.**\n\n**This Ontario Culture Days program is produced in partnership with [Toronto Public Library](https:\/\/\/). Ontario's @ the Library programming is made possible thanks to the support of the [Ontario Library Association](http:\/\/\/web).**","content_fr":"","should_publish_at":null,"published_at":"2019-07-17 12:00:00","first_published_at":null,"deleted_at":null,"created_at":"2019-07-10 11:25:39","updated_at":"2019-10-04 18:02:59","thumbnail_file_id":null,"featured_at":null,"is_featured":false,"is_published":true,"should_publish":false,"status":"published"}" style="scroll-snap-align: start;">