CONSENT – A Curated Video Program of Thematically Engaged Artist Projects
This Responsive Program Invites Community Dialogue
In Solidarity with Consent Awareness Week 2023 | Possibility Seeds’ Courage to Act Project
In response to the national campaign for consent awareness, the featured artists have explored their relationship to the concept of consent. There is no absolute answer to what consent is or what it looks like. In reality, it is a continuous conversation — one that is empowered through intersectional discourse, vulnerability and respect for each other. The projects comprising this video program represent fragments of what it means to give, receive, acknowledge and examine consent through various modes and mediums.
Content Advisory: Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter, please be advised that this reel may be triggering or distressing to some individuals. While not explicit in nature, there are implications of sexuality, mental health and traumatic experiences. We strongly encourage you to explore the age-appropriate support resources that can be found on this page and on the Possibility Seeds’ Courage to Act platform.
Artist: Naia Lisch
Description: Series of 35 charcoal drawings on paper, 2023.
The artwork I made for Consent Awareness Week is a stop-motion video with additive and reductive charcoal drawings. The dialogue of consent is continuous, as boundaries and vulnerabilities are explored between entities through different modes of communication. The portrayal of mouths symbolizes verbal communication but is paired with silence through the stop-motion format, representing the importance of body language and unspoken cues. This piece seeks to engage viewers in a thoughtful dialogue about the evolving and complex nature of consent in all aspects of life.
Movement has always captivated me. Through the art of stop motion, I can bring life into static drawings. I primarily work with expressive mediums, such as charcoal and ink. My drawings are gestural, prioritizing movement over realism.
Artist: Griffin Halpin
Description: Robotics, found objects, 2023.
This project began with the question “How can we show consent using robotics in a way that resonates with youth”.
As I began to think more deeply about this question, I found it to be a great medium to show what healthy consent might actually look like. Using the robots as a physical analogy for consent allows for a bare-boned representation of the fundamentals of consent. Bringing it down to the very basics allows for deeper understanding and exploration of the subject at hand, robots are a good way to do this with still keeping it engaging and easily relatable for youth.
When I approached the actual making of the robot, I thought about kids and how they experience the world in an emotionally reactionary way. I wanted to show how important it is to use language to communicate and take their feelings out of a reactionary fight and flight space and into a space where they can begin to stand up for themselves using language.
I am an experimental artist who explores different ways of being and experiencing. I love approaching all styles of art making using multiple mediums to discover what it means to be alive. I have a specific appreciation for finding forgotten objects and giving them new meaning. I also love anything and everything cool, like math.
Artist: Taylor Robinson
Description: Acrylic painting on canvas, 2021, digitally animated in 2023.
Defending is a painting I made back in 2021 as part of a series called Listening, Defending, Avoiding. Defending was the central work in this series, and it has now been animated for this presentation about consent. Some of us have hyper-vigilance ingrained in us because we have grown up understanding that our right to bodily autonomy may be ignored. Other people do not have this fear; they do not go through life always keeping one earbud out while going for a run, keeping their keys ready, or sticking to well-lit areas at nighttime. While this artwork may be relatable to many, I hope it can also raise awareness about consideration towards others. The individual making an advance towards another person, regardless of their nature, should not assume consent. They should consider potential power imbalances and how the other individual may feel vulnerable. Outlining consent should not be the responsibility of the individual on the receiving end of an advance.
My choice of subject matter is an invitation to the viewer to contemplate the implications of ordinary objects, sights, and moments. My paintings explore the principle of selection; considerations include determining a balance between simplified forms and carefully observed details. Often, a degree of abstraction will suggest the haziness of memory, redirect the viewer’s focus, or acknowledge the artifice of the medium of paint. Contemporary painters that inspire me include John Brosio and Joseph Lorusso.
I was born and raised in Courtenay on Vancouver Island, B.C., within the unceded traditional territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. I currently live in Esquimalt, B.C., which a part of the Greater Victoria area and within the traditional territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations.
I began painting while studying at North Island College, and I received my Fine Arts Diploma from NIC’s School of Fine Art + Design in 2020. Recently, I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria in 2022.
RAINBOW STUDY: WORK FROM THE ROY G BIV ARCHIVE
Artist: Spencer Sheehan Kalina
Description: Digital photographs, colouring pencil crayon drawings on paper, written words; all made in 2023; All are selections from The Rainbow: ROY G BIV Archive creative arts project.
Rainbow Study: Work From The ROY G BIV Archive is a creative research project that thematically brings together work to explore the ideas, images, history, lived experiences, social constructs and storytelling from and that impacts LGBTQAI2+ communities. From this project, images and words relating to the idea of consent were chosen to be put forth in a presentation to bring attention to and offer solidarity toward the sexual violence and systemic sexual injustice that is rampant within queer spaces; often consent is the last thing to be considered in non-heteronormative spaces. Of particular interest to the artist was the use of the rainbow image which has become synonymous with gay culture and the process of how the LGBTQAI2+ community, on mass, has come to consensually use the images as an identifier and marker of themselves and their community.
I am an artist, author, healing helper and student trying to find path and a good way of being as a member of the LGBTQA2+ community and an uninvited settler on K’omoks First Nation’s land. My art is a way of being in the world, of processing and thinking through what it means to be of this present place and time, both for myself and hopefully for others as well.