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A new chapter of Lisa Anita Wegner's storytelling.

Filmmaker Performance Artist www.mightybraveproductions.com

Category Archives: art therapy

My 2013 Nuit Blanche piece Queen of the Parade curated by Patrick McCauley was a collaboration with Vanessa Lee Wishart which showed my work on an international stage and changed my life. This year is my third and last doing Nuit Blanche, at least for awhile.
TRIANGLE: Ascension into Another Golden Age is my Inner.Space send off.  It is a three location Ascension Experience: Projection/ Sound/ Wind / Performance/ Sculpture +InterGallactic GUESTS. The team has come together so elegantly and while there are always unexpected bumps in the road we are now in the home stretch. I am thrilled to bring this version of TRIANGLE to you. I have been experimenting all year with installations at Belljar Cafe, Moniker Gallery and The Film Buff. Having said that I might take a version of  TRIANGLE to ARTEL PHX next year. 

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Born from a few hard weeks of c-ptsd cognitive problems, this new improved projection light show at The Black Cat is perhaps the most amazing thing I’ve discovered in my experimenting with bending light. I have discovered a new element that takes my projections to another level.

I have an installation of gauzy curtains and netting in a womb shape that the audience enters into. With industrial fans and multiple directional projections in the gauze, when I tested it as part of a local art festival, it was extremely successful despite not being able to hear the healing sound track by Marshall Dragun. So I have a **special sound experience** for The Black Cat: Full Surround Sound brought to you by Sennheiser HDR170 and Haus of Dada.  We are still looking at some rentals for Quadrophonic Surround Sound for The Belljar Cafe, the last and most relaxing of the venues. 

Haus of Dada : The Invitation

The Black Cat: The Experience

Belljar: The Exhalation

 
Carolyn Tripp is my partner in visuals for TRIANGLE. She is the Executive Director of the Parkdale Film and Video Showcase and she will be designing the clear, clean visual environment for Belljar: The Exhale. She will also be designing and executing the TRIANGLE art that will link the locations. 
Marshall Dragun has worked with me all year on the soundtrack. The intent of the sonic accompaniment for TRIANGLE is aimed to re-establishing, in practice, similar principles of intended positive bio-celestial realignments. With the use of binaural solfeggio frequencies and isocrhonic tones, as well as sound samples captured from space, the journey is crafted with base frequencies that are believed by some to have a positive fundamental effect on the human experience and on life as we know it. The sonic journey is tied into the ascension process by moving upward through the scale of the 9 basic fundamental sacred healing tonal frequencies (174Hz, 285Hz, 396Hz, 417Hz, 528Hz, 639Hz, 741Hz, 852Hz and 963Hz). Ascension is ultimately attained by harmonizing the mind,body,soul through one experiencing the entire upward scale of these tones; thus allowing for the re-establishment of ancient celestial realignments ie. The New Golden Age.  Special musical guests are Stephane Vera (pictured) and Aris Plampe. 
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I am also very excited to be working with my TRIANGLE Technicians Wanda MacRae & Daisy Semkiw Blackburn, performers/ who will pull through the portal with me. Tarqin Richards is my intern who will be Inner.Space Videographer. 

My favourite special guest is the glorious artist Steven Joseph who will be my MUSE. I pulled him though my portal into TRIANGLE and he will thrill us with his extra terrestrial beauty and style. Come and catch a glimpse before Steven gets pulled  into another level Super Star Galaxy and we mere humans can no longer reach.

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After getting Steven onboard as guest I thought immediately of Matthew Del Degan’s LOVEBOTS as another addition to this world. I did a group show with Matthew last TIFF and have been in love with his BOTS ever since seeing them in person. I asked him for a full sized 8 foot LOVEBOT for in front of the Haus of Dada and Carolyn Tripp and I were hoping for an army of the small ones to connect the locations on Dundas. Matthew just told me his good news yesterday that since SPACE Network has done a piece on his LOVEBOTS Matthew is now in demand. So no mini LOVEBOT invasion along Dundas… he has bigger robotic fish to fry. I am hoping his project coordinator Roger can get us the original large LOVEBOT for the haus. 
 
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 Freeman Audio Visual’s great sponsorship I realized last week, was not the company but our guy Jason Tremblett. Jason changed us a fraction of the listed rental prices and would slip us additional and give us old equipment. He is on long term medical leave and the new guy assigned to us is a corporate sales person with no interest or understanding art. Jason saw the scope of the amazing work we are doing. New guy sees me as a client who has no money. Sad. He offered me a tiny discount and asked why I would want equipment that I can’t afford. I know it’s common to focus so much on money but I feel sad for Kyle- I asked twice if Jason was ok and he never answered. So I think I will say farewell to Freeman and let them get on in their corporate pursuits.
TRIANGLE collage
So… I have borrowed enough projectors, screens and media players, now I think we’ll just do a simple rental of the Quadrophonic sound set up. Next week is testing everything and set-up lists. Anchors away! Space ships have anchors too.

 TRIANGLE is sponsors by Parkdale Village Arts Collective/ Gallery 1313, Partners in Art, Belljar Cafe, Forever Epic Films, Mighty Brave Productions & Haus of Dada.

Soon the website will include full project details and bios of our team: www.mightybraveproductions.com/triangle

Your until the USA drinks Canada Dry….
Lisa

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Dealing with c-PTSD for me can feel like I am a toddler: at times my cognition and problem solving drop out and I need to get help to do basic things. Like make toast, write a basic email, fill out a form, make a decision. The goal of all my trauma therapy at Women’s College Hospital is to give a toolbox of emotional and physical skills to help you come back from the edge. Basically to not drop out. That’s where the Parenting comes in. I”m now pretty good at seeing and symptoms in advance. And taking lots of time and asking for lots of help. 
 
As my close friends know, the way that I first managed to get out in the world after being too afraid to leave the house for almost two years in (2008-2010) was to feel 100% safe all the time. It was a long slow process of knowing who and what was safe emotionally and who would take the best care of me. And finding that balance I started to create boundaries shutting the rest of the world out. I left the house for medical appointments and friends would come and visit me, often one on one. I chose only those who treasure me to come into my world. As the years went by, I got better and better at choosing the folks in my work and personal circles. I am now surrounded by loving wonderful emotionally aware people who factor my well-being in.
 
So I opened up my world a bit at a time. Adding larger art projects that involved a creative team and choosing folks wisely. No talkers, no big promisers, only folks who come through on promises and finish things. I love finishers and nurturers. Kind and responsible ones. And I started meditating almost every day. From this hard daily work, daily art therapy and trauma therapy at the hospital I have a good balance.
 
I can keep this calm happy rhythm going for weeks. And then at times I am reminded of the S in PTSD. I have a stress disorder. And now that I am super organized, not rushed and not stressed I have a good base of my life’s tasks and my emotional state being under calm control.  When I do encounter routine stress especially when something is important to me, my cognition drops out to scary levels and my problem solving bottoms out to not being sure how to get back home. I have experience this drop out thousands of times since 2008 and each time it is terrifying because without reasoning and cognitive skills the world is terrifying. 
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v45Wtbk7s6I
Here is an interview with Katie Chats about my therapy art practise
 
So this Nuit Blanche, without city funding I don’t have the budget to hire a producer, like I had last year (I miss you Martin Edralin: who is doing amazing worldwide with his film HOLE). I have produced several small scale installations with the help of friends and interns and I will be fine here too. 
 
If I start to try to think my way into the tasks aggressively I can’t breathe and everything goes white. My body shoots chemicals like I’m getting ready to fight a bear. Fear in the space used to leave me spiralling for weeks and it is unimaginably awful there. And when I poke through the other end I am mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.
 
But if I meditate myself into the right emotional space and trick myself that I don’t HAVE to do anything, then I usually can circumvent the system. Then feeling freedom from the stress disorder I can problem solve and write emails like a champ.
So the trick is to give myself slack while the clock is ticking on a project. Perspective always helps: it’s an Art Installation, not heart surgery. And I have an amazing concept, a terrific team and wonderful support. Once I get my brain and the Mighty Brave Productions magic back, we can bring to live the best Nuit Blanche experience that the neighbourhood Dundas Roncesvalles has ever seen!
Now I’m meeting Angela Chao, a friend who also started making art because of a brain injury. Our stories are so very different but we have a lot of things in common including symptoms and experiences. We are going to meditate together and look at my notebooks when I was one year in to healing (2009). I’m now six years in.
I do think from this experience I will enlist Sue Edworthy Arts Planning again this winter to see about getting funding to get me a part time producer.
TRIANGLE: Ascension into Another Golden Age is the project I’m referring to.  www.mmightybraveproductions.com/triangle 
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I feel better after writing out the experience.
Onward and upward
Lisa

Shannon Cochrane (FADO) sent me an audition notice for Will Kwan’s film, “If All You Have is a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail”. On top of my daily video and performance practise which is part of my trauma therapy, I had been reaching out to collaborate and work on others’ projects as well. I looked up Will’s work and was really drawn so I contacted him and set up an audition and was thrilled that I got offered the role.
So far in the art world, the artist fees have been minimal and I’ve donated them back to each exhibition/production. I make art full-time to tame the effects of c-ptsd and now enjoy regular exhibits, installations and talks about my Art Therapy Practise. I live on The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and I get volunteers, donations and sponsors per project. Six years ago I feel extremely ill and have been in Trauma Therapy at Women’s College Hospital now for 4.5 years. I found art making as a resource in SPEAKArt with Art Therapist Eva-Marie Stern. My art keeps me functioning and it’s now come full circle back to my previous career of being an actress and film producer.
Will’s project is an ACTRA production and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to re-activate my Union membership for multiple reasons. I am starting intense full-time trauma therapy in October for eight weeks and even the union dues were too much for my budget. But by this point I had read Will script and couldn’t see myself not taking the role. I used all my trauma therapy tools to figure out that while I still need a lot of help on some fronts, performing is something that comes easily and learning the lines felt fun, not stressful. I decided to do the job and contact ACTRA President Ferne Downy for help manoeuvring this gig through the ODSP system as it is part of my body of work, I couldn’t turn it down. But I am not healthy enough to head back into the working world.
And despite doing excellently well for months, this project being ACTRA and involving money stressed me out as it could affect my health insurance payments. I was installing a multi projection set up for an event at the end someone asked my name. I didn’t know my name. I couldn’t remember my phone number. I hadn’t dropped out memory like that in years. I realize often the S in PTSD stands for stress. When something is important to me it throws my cognition and memory off in extreme ways. This time I knew to look at my business card for my name. I immediately went home and rested and made some art. I have six years of experience of what to do when basic skills drop out.
So with Ferne onboard I accept the gig and start working on my 17 pages of script. I play opposite to Michael Man, who has a page or two and otherwise I speak the entire time. My character is driving while delivering this dialogue. A three camera set up with four long takes in a 30 minutes triptych film.
I worked on my script daily. I would either read it out loud our think through the details of the script and the flow of the conversation. I looked at real-estate websites to see the vibe of the successful agents and I slept well and took care of myself. The morning of the shoot I woke at 6am to walk my dogs and I was pretty fresh. And I felt good about my prep work.
The shoot was an excellent environment, a small crew and Will was sensitive to my needs as well as everyone else’s. I felt like a different part of my brain kicked in, a confident performer brain that despite heat and driving did a reasonable job with the huge amount of dialogue. I felt great. This was my largest role to date in a film. And it is interesting that while certain stress stops me in my tracks, with daily work and therapy art, I can be a high functioning artist. And with my family and a group of friends helping me every day, I can do amazing things.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the film installation.
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