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A new chapter of Lisa Anita Wegner's storytelling.

Filmmaker Performance Artist www.mightybraveproductions.com

Tag Archives: art therapy

In Toronto Canada, an arrogant performance artist declares themself amazing while refusing to show any facial expression.

 

When we reached out to the haus of dada for comment we received the following message in German via telegraph from curator Fritz Snitz. “Thin(k) Blank Human only does private performances for close friends, artists and cherished audience members and is not interested in speaking with you peoples.” -Ritzy Fritzy

Artist Would Rather Give Ownership of Her Work to Those Who Inspire, Than Those Who Can Pay.

Performance Artist’s Perceived Gender Affects Audience Reaction 

 

 

 

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Akhilanda Collaborative is a new creative collective based in Toronto Canada. It began with a circus and film collaboration for MASHUP, a Hercinia Arts Collective Event curated by Kirsten Leila Edwards. Click the link to read the story of how “the way back home” came together and who is involved.

Read about the original collaboration for a Hercinia Art Party

Here is a teaser of “the way back home” Day of Delight performance shot and edited by Tarquin Richards.


“the way back home” at Dufferin Grove Day of Delight 2016 from Lisa Anita Wegner on Vimeo.

I felt a deep therapeutic need to continue to collaborate with this group. We truly are more than the sum of our parts. When we decided to move ahead we were stuck for an organization name. It was because we were missing someone. As well as Ashley Hurlock, Tamara Arenovich, Lisa Anita Wegner and Ray Cammaert we added Mary-Margaret Scrimger. Here she is below.

And then we were complete. We immediately started a steady stream of creative projects. Live performances, large scale art installations and films. For me this is the ideal addition to my therapeutic art practise. A group who is creatively open, nurturing and understands the emotional landscape. This is work that heals me.

portrait of mary-margaret from Lisa Anita Wegner on Vimeo.

I wanted to post some teaser images and a video study from our blue screen shoot of the other day. Projects will be announced here and on our Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/AkhilandaCollaborative/?fref=ts

the universe in her underpants from Lisa Anita Wegner on Vimeo.

I’ll write more soon and share more about our process. I’ll also write a little about the Goddess Akhilanda. Here are a few more images of what we are up to.

Lisa Anita Wegner
Akhilanda Collaborative
Mighty Brave Productions
haus of dada.

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In 2003, when I was just starting to make films, Angela Chao was in the camera department of my first two projects. After reconnecting last year, I fell in love with Angela’s fanciful painting and drawing on social media. Angela had found art-making as therapy and I was moved by her story as well her art. Her work was bright, bold and authentic and she created endlessly and freely. And Angela herself is so sweet and authentic – I particularly love how she snaps a picture to remember all her buyers.

“Mindless Doodles” is the second therapy installation that I’ve brought to my curation at 1313. I find that this type of work resounds with me as my own art career was born in the trauma therapy art room, and my daily art practice is what keeps me functioning. Angela and I have an understanding of art as something we need on a daily basis, to nourish our souls and stay connected to our true selves. And though the stories of our traumas are so different, the way we use our art is very similar. We understand each other’s specific trauma-based needs and refer to each other as Brain Buddies; and we’re both keen to spread awareness and help others discover art as a viable option as therapy.

When the April Windoxbox  became open unexpectedly, I was thrilled that Angela was able to bring a selection of her ceramics and her “20 minute” feeling paintings to fill the window gallery at Queen Street’s Gallery 1313.

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As well as bringing her work to Gallery 1313, Angela and I have started a series of collaborations including working with my performing persona, Thin(k) Blank Human. This summer is our inaugural exhibit together for The City of Toronto, for The Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games.  Our collaborations will be under the moniker Art Saves Lives.

I invite you to come to Angela’s opening this Thursday at 1313a Queen Street West at Brock Ave. 8pm – 10pm is open to the public. If you want to come at 7pm and have a drink, you have to private message me. Angela’s work will be shown until April 28th 2015.

About the “Mindless Doodles” Exhibit:

The installation “Mindless Doodles Art Therapy” in Gallery 1313’s Window Box space for the month of April dives into the life of Canadian filmmaker, Angela Chao, who uses the term Mindless Doodles to denote the images she sees that are not pre-conceived or arranged. These doodles come straight from the emotions and sensations of her current “crazy brain,”  the result of three on-set concussions she has suffered over the past one and a half years.

After trying many types of therapy, she found HandsForHealth.ca and cranio-therapist Edwin Galeano, with whom – after just one session – Angela found herself able to think freely and begin to escape the personality and mental changes, PTSD, depression and anxiety that had plagued her since her accidents. Even more exhilarating, she could sit still and accomplish things, an ability to that had been taken from her. She started doodling and discovered her hidden artist, and a place where she can leave behind mental challenges and be free to create.

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In her new career as an artist, she has already won an award at the Art Square gallery where her work premiered, as well as Flight Centre’s first prize of a trip to New Zealand and Australia in a competition with 1800 artists. She recently competed in Art Battle 2015, and has donated her artwork to an upcoming AIDs charity event on May 6 at TIFF.  In addition, her unique story has generated coverage by the Mississauga News, Brain Injury Association and Hospital News,
Looking forward, Angela Chao has joined created forces with Lisa Anita Wegner in creating an organization called ArtSavesLives.ca. Their goal is to help others battling a traumatic brain injury or post-concussion syndrome discover their own unique therapy.

Angela Chao’s work can be seen at Mindlessdoodle.ca For private viewing or commission art, please contact Angela at info@mindlessdoodle.ca.

Angela + Thin(k) Blank Human

Angela + Thin(k) Blank Human

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the first week after my full time trauma therapy ended, i did a pretty good job of mostly rest and self care. doing just the basics to get ready for my upcoming exhibits and performances.

last night i slept from 5:30 pm to 10:30am (whoa) and then today my brain could barely chug itself around making a cup of coffee.  i was confused all day and stressed because there were a few small details i had to figure out. i needed to call in a friend to help and now i am ready for the rest of the week, and i can mostly rest. my cognition can still drop out and then i feel like i can’t wrap my brain around much besides cuddling my dogs and making stuff.

i feel a little better now that i made this picture. and wrote this. making stuff is really the only way through for me.

exhausted

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on a two week holiday break from full time trauma therapy, i had a profound experience today when i was meditating in the tub. i talked in an earlier posting about meeting ziggy stardust in my meditations (read the post here) and being compelled to do a live transformation at the black cat gallery in toronto in july 2014 called STARDUST: Life on Jupiter (see official site here).

since christmas i had come through a time of feeling super exhausted and my cognition has been dropping out mixed with bouts of very hard sleeping and inspired art making. even when i could barely move, i was compelled to draw with pencils. and then shoot and edit video in my lap:

so today i decided to meditate and consider what if this comfort, confidence and compunction inside my creativity would have come out as a child? and i got a clear vision of myself in public school getting my ziggy on and while this picture is not me, it totally could pass (like the fake puppy pictures of my rescue dogs).

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i did dress up and start young creative ventures: but i stuck to playing girls. orphans, pioneers and magic nannies were my childhood specialties. and now i feel free to play anything, human or otherwise, on or off the space time continuum. and i’m having way more fun.

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if i would have found my ziggy then, my current experience would be remarkably different. and just by imagining it, i feel everything opening up. i think i will add being a childhood ziggy stardust: rockstar alien to my fictitious history, and I’d cut a mullet without hesitation. that is when i finally give birth to my artist self in “The Fictitious History of The Haus of Dada” here is a taste of that multi year project. i’m just at the beginning of it.

happy 2015 everyone!

lisa anita wegner

 

 

 

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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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Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 5.32.41 PM

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During the makeup test for my upcoming performance/ live art making/ projection show STARDUST: Life on Jupiter? makeup artist Wanda MacRae and I created a universe we both wanted to play in.  We talked about the elements that we had in place and with that created a very simple performance based around the haircut, makeup and styling which transforms me into David Bowie’s character Ziggy Stardust in 3.5 hours, covered by entertainment reporter Katie Uhlmann, three go pro cameras and two art video interns that are “Stardust Technicians”.
Soundtrack by Wanda MacRae based on our mutual love of Bowie, Gaga, Boy George and a few other inspirations. My projected Stardust Video Studies will loop on the back wall of the gallery for the entire event.
I enter the gallery at 7pm with my wet hair in a towel, wearing a white lab coat. While my hair is pre dyed under the towel and my eyebrows are pre waxed and drawn on, I look essentially like myself. Wanda, the makeup artist is the “STARDUST Surgeon” as she is responsible for my transformation of my head. Wanda and I met performing with Erotic Nightmare a Rocky Horror Picture Show cast (I was Brad she was Janet) so we inserting a Rocky Horror feel. Our all female surgical crew will be dressed fashionably yet medically and have Wanda’s implements on silver trays. Both STARDUST Technicians are art video interns, they will have matching Canon Cameras and their second job is to record the event as creatively as they see fit. They will have the Stardust Lightning bolt on their faces.
I will sit in a hairdressers chair in the window of the Black Cat Gallery and absorb the feeling of the transformation while Wanda works. Once my hair is cut and styled I will put on one blue contact lens and partially dress under the lab coat, for the makeup portion.
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To build toward the ending, the white face powder will be brought out on a mirror by one STARDUST Technician while the second technician brings be a carton of whole milk. During the time Bowie was Stardust he imbibed only cocaine and whole milk. My white powder is face powder but that doesn’t mean we can’t cut it with a credit card. And I will be handed the whole milk, a treat for me once I’m STARDUST complete. I’m hoping Maha Richi, a stylist I’ve known since high school who is dressing me will be able to be there to put jacket/  the final touches on me for the cameras.
The STARDUST Technicians will countdown and pop glitter canons to signify the transformation is complete. I will mingle for the rest of the evening enjoying my milk after my Stardust Surgery.
Off all the wonderful work I have had the privilege of doing in recent years, this is what I’m most excited for. To see how it feels and how the world treats me when I have an orange mullet and no eyebrows.
The rest of the week I’ll be pulling my art practise from The Haus of Dada into The Black Cat gallery 2-6pm. Also by appointment in the evenings. I invite to come watch, play, interact, co- create or just look through the window while I play, shoot, edit, score and project as I work.
Wanda and I doing makeup test.

Wanda and I doing makeup test.

Closing party I’ll be Ten Foot Tall Queen of Stardust, with glorious rainbow gown by Vanessa Lee Wishart and video legs by Forever Epic Films.

Sneak peek at Vanessa Lee Wishart’s glorious rainbow gown for closing party

Thanks everyone who has helped me bring this to life.
Cheers and as always thanks to David Bowie himself, the quintessential artist mentor.
xo Lisa Anita Wegner

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