'We Are All One' 2020. 8 ft. x 18 ft. Participation House, London, Ontario
How do we co-create while living in a sense that we are all one?
Dozens of people with a wide range of cognitive and physical abilities celebrate friendship and oneness by co-creating a large mural.
Created by 40 people with a wide range of abilities, We Are All One is a painting celebrating the belief that we are all related and are one. The warm color figures dancing in a circle over a bluish background reference the work of Henri Matisse Dance from 1910. Matisse intended to convey feelings of liberation and well-being while stretching conventional traditional painting forms. We Are All One aims to remind us that liberation and well-being must include all body shapes, abilities, and living beings, by replacing dancers with a figure lying horizontally, another one in a wheelchair, and a puppy.
The participatory painting process challenges cultural attitudes around who is an artist and who isn’t, reminding us that we are all creative and have the right to create art. The participatory engagement is designed to celebrate the resilience of institutions’ survivors and open spaces for people to create relationships and build a sense of community. The finished painting portrays dancers stretching their arms, reaching one another, and uplifting the value of playing together across our differences and as one.
Facilitator: Denise McDonald
Social Artist Lead & Facilitator: Melanie Schambach
Partner Organization: Participation House
Funded by: Participation House