'We Are All One' 2020. 8 ft. x 18 ft. Participation House, London, Ontario
Created by 40 people living with a wide range of abilities, We Are All One is a painting celebrating the belief that we are all related and we are one community. The warm colour figures dancing in a circle over a bluish background references the work of Henri Matisse Dance from 1910. Matisee intended to convey feelings of liberation and well-being while stretching conventional forms of traditional painting opening the door to the beginning of Modern Art. We Are All One aims to remind us that liberation and well-bing must include all body shapes, all abilities, and all living beings, by replacing dancers with a figure laying horizontally, a figure on a wheelchair, and a figure of a dog.
The participatory process of painting, challenges cultural attitudes around who is an artist and who isn’t, and reminds us that we are all creative and we all have the right to create art. The participatory engagement is designed to celebrate the resilience of survivors who lived in institutions, to open spaces for people to create relationships, and to build a sense of community. The finished painting portray dancers stretching their arms reaching one another uplifting the value of playing together across our differences and as one.