Of Shadows (2016)

Artist Statement

Blackness, darkness, shadow, shades, night, the labyrinths of the earth, abysmal depths, blacken someone’s reputation; and, on the other side, the bright look of innocence, the white dove of peace, magical, heavenly light.

– Franz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks.

Of Shadows uses the serial selfie to speak to the intersections of Blackness and disability. In a wall mounted movement of five images using a lo-fi digital abstraction style that mutes the complexity of the subject, this series presents the disabled and Black body as both spectre and monstrosity; fiction and cautionary tale. Simply a danger, nothing more.

Under white supremacy, the presence of Black life is contrary and invokes violence. “Black” as a rule conjures images of the ominous and unknown in the white, colonial mind; thus, Black people are often hyper-visible around narratives of criminality, and – often, simultaneously – erased from narratives of disability. The story of these images is one of a familiar haunting, where the vulnerable body of the disabled Black person is threatening, even at rest and at pain, due to the insidious anti-Blackness of our society.

 

Exhibitions

2017, March 12, Toronto, CA. Vari Hall – York University.
Reclaim Our Bodies and Minds Conference: Art Showcase featuring Lynx Sainte-Marie

2016, December 8 – 12, Toronto, CA. Tangled Art + Disability.
Storywave Collective Presents: Who We Are.

Never Been Broken: Blackness, Disability & Healing through the Arts

Never Been Broken: Blackness, Disability & Healing through the Arts was a panel presentation presented at the inaugural Black Futures Now Toronto (BFNTO) Conference on July 16th, 2016 at the Technology Enhanced Learning Building (TEL) at York University.

Organized by Lynx Sainte-Marie, conference advisor for BFNTO, the panel featured three Black artists who identified with having some form of disability and/or chronic illness. Panelists were invited to perform/recite work, and to speak to their artistic practices, the intersection of disability and Blackness and the role art plays in supporting their varied journeys of healing.

Panelists

Whitney French
Jassie Justice
Lynx Sainte-Marie

Moderator

Gloria Swain

Four Black spoonie panelists look to the camera, with varying faces ranging from big smiles to serious faces. In the foreground, the three spoonies IRL stand closely together, while the fourth spoonie is projected on the screen behind them URL.
From bottom left to right: Gloria Swain, Lynx Sainte-Marie and Jassie Justice. Top: Whitney French.

 

#BlackSpoonieSpeak

#BlackSpoonieSpeak was a creative writing workshop series for Black
youth ages 18-24 who live with various forms of chronic illness/disability in the Greater Toronto Area.

Prioritizing youth on the margins, the goal of the project was to provide a safer, accessible, tender space for Black spoonies to speak to their stories of survival and resilience while having the opportunity to build creative networks and supportive Black spoonie community.

 

 

Grants

2016, Art Starts (in partnership with the Toronto Arts Council), Platform A Micro-Grant.

Interviews

2017, March, Open Book, Six With Lynx Sainte-Marie.

2016, September, Art Starts. Three Years of Successful Stories | Art Starts Micro-grant recipients | Platform A.

Presentations

2017, August 19, Boston, US. Alternatives Conference 2017: Building Healing Communities Together.
Presenter: #BlackSpoonieSpeak: Creative Writing Effort for Healing Black Youth.

Children of O (2015)

Content note: ableism, racism, anti-Blackness, neocolonialism, alcohol consumption, the Medical Industrial Complex.

This piece was created during Project Creative Users‘ 2015 six week disability arts-focused workshop series for artists, non-artists, and community members.

Artist Statement

 Children of O, where invocation meets multimedia visionary art installation, considers a world where disability and spirituality are one in the same.

Many years ago, The Hum began. All satellites, electrical towers and aircrafts fell back to earth. No one knows what The Hum is or where it comes from, but no longer can technologies transmit signals through the air. No matter how hard they try; no matter how much land they burn. This led to chaos as those whose cities were destroyed to recreate the sky technology fought back and were slaughtered by the State.

Now in the Year 432’7 After the Fall (AtF), living in the wastelands farthest away from the violence and desperation of those who continue their quest for the skies, villages of Black folks live interdependently. And the Children of Obatala – crips, disabled folks, mad folks, spoonies – are the Sacred Ones most connected to the spirits and the ancestors.

 

 

Exhibitions

2018, March 3 – March 31, Hamilton, ON. Centre(3) + Factory Media Centre.
VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices in Accessibility,  Art and Communication Exhibition Tour.

2018, January 13 – February 10, Toronto, ON. Vtape – 401 Richmond Street (Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space).
VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices in Accessibility,  Art and Communication Exhibition Tour.

2017, October 13 – November 11. London, CA. 629 Dundas St. E.
VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices in Accessibility,  Art and Communication Exhibition Tour.

2017, June 2 – 4, London, UK. I/Mages of Tomorrow: Envisioning Black Futures, POC
Future, Queer and Trans Futures, Feminist Futures – Goldsmiths, University of London.

2017, May 5 – July 2. Chatham-Kent, CA. Thames Art Gallery.
VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices in Accessibility,  Art and Communication Exhibition Tour.

2015, October 3 – 4. Toronto, CA. Nuit Blanche Toronto.
CRIP INTERIORS: Nuit Blanche Edition.

Artist Talks

2017, June 4, London, UK. I/Mages of Tomorrow: Envisioning Black Futures, POC Future, Queer and Trans Futures, Feminist Futures – Goldsmiths, University of London. Presenter: We Are Chosen Ones: The Children of O and a (Re)En|Visioning of Black Disabled Futures

2016, January 30, Toronto, CA. Project Creative Users Think Tank.
Guest Speaker: Artist Talk with Lynx Sainte-Marie

Performances

2016, June 12, Edmonton, CA. University of Alberta.
Co-organizer + Featured Artist + Moderator: En/Visions of Blackness: Performances + Artist Talk

2016, May 14, Halifax, CA. Canadian University Queer Services Conference – Dalhousie University.
Featured Performer: QT2BIPOC Performance Night.

2016, April 30, Toronto, CA. Tangled Art + Disability in partnership with the British Council – The Harbourfront Centre.
Featured Performer: Cripping the Stage: A Disability Arts Cabaret 

Press

2017, August, Red Pepper Magazine, Imagining a future free of oppression.

2016, December, CBC Arts, Magic from the madness: On black disabled activists and artists making change in 2016.

2016, May, Art F City, This is What Accessible, Barrier-Free Curating Looks Like.

2016, May, Canadian Art Magazine, Cripping the Arts: It’s About Time.