Birds and their colours with Simon Winadzi James

In the first session of the Fall, Indigenous Artist, Carver and Storyteller Simon Winadzi James (Kwak wakw ‘wakw) shared with the students via zoom a Crow and Raven story told by his great grandmother. It was a time when the creator was first giving colours to birds. Crow was excited to get its colours and the Raven wanted to play some tricks on crow, because Raven thought Crow was getting a little full of itself. Simon says the story has evolved over time as society has many evolving social dialogue around colour and diversity. Simon encouraged the students to be the best no matter what skin colour you have and to be proud of who you are and where you come from. Later in this phase the student create their own wood crafted bird inspired by this story.

Published by J Peachy

I am a contemporary outsider artist that believes in the healing properties of the natural environment. I paint landscapes in abstract as an expression of my connection with nature and its ability to provide me peaceful inspiration. As organisms on this earth I believe we are interconnected with nature and highly interdependent. But as the psycho-social environment we live in today gets ever increasingly complex its effects on us are becoming more pervasive, corroding and sophisticated. However the energy, peace and serenity of our natural surroundings can provide a way of grounding our senses and healing our minds. I try to capture the interrelationship between my mind and nature as I see and feel it; it’s an expression of my soul captured on a physical medium and in a point in time. Going through the process in itself contributes to balance. Driven by my own lived experience, I am a self proclaimed arts-based advocate for mental health and strive to demystify and eliminate stigma around these issues. My initiatives in this regard include being the Vancouver Caucus leader for the Artist Alliance for Mental Health, a collective member (2010) of the artist-run Gallery Gachet in Vancouver and the Producer and Host of Sound Therapy Radio a peer oriented mental wellness show on CJSF 90.1 FM. I have a true belief in human potential and in the statement; ‘art is a means for survival’.

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