"Just a moment" Project

Art Event on July 13 2022 from 5-7pm— Chigamik Community Health Hub, 287 Bayshore Dr, Midland 

 

Organized by Camille Myles, visual artist, in partnership with Quest Art School + Gallery, Chigamik Community Health Hub, La Clé, Centre On y va, EarlyON Child and Family Centre Simcoe North, and others.

 

Camille Myles and community partners are pleased to present a social art event and family workshop to raise awareness of mental health issues affecting mothers. This drop-in event is aimed to provide a safe place to share and connect with other women through a pop gallery experience. A fun family art workshop will be offered with light snacks and refreshments as well as an optional New Moon Ceremony. Mental health support materials and resources will be offered by partners.

 

Parents have experienced considerable challenges and stress during the pandemic which have significantly impacted their mental health, in particular mothers with young children. The artist, Camille Myles and mother of three young children, found herself at a breaking point facing depression, anxiety and burnout in the fall of 2021. At that point, she decided to invite other mothers take just a moment for themselves in a safe place, close their eyes and take a selfie for her. The artist also asked mothers to describe how they were feeling with a simple word or testimonial. This event will be showcasing the results of this art project, offer professional portrait photography, provide an interactive art workshop and will encourage discussions about mental health.

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Goal

To raise awareness of mental health issues affecting mothers, providing a safe place to share and connect with other women through a pop gallery experience.

Confirmed Partners

  • Artist-Mentor & Social-worker: Rodrigo Moreno: To provide guidance and support in developing the photography exhibition.

  • Quest Art School + Gallery (Midland)

  • Chigamik Health Centre (Midland): For access to mothers, support groups, outreach initiatives.

  • Centres On y va de Barrie et Penetanguishene 

  • Early Years Simcoe North

Background

Parents have experienced considerable challenges and stress during the pandemic which have significantly impacted their mental health, in particular mothers with young children. The artist, Camille Myles and mother of three young children, found herself at a breaking point facing depression, anxiety and burnout in the fall of 2021. At that point, she decided to invite other mothers take just a moment for themselves in a safe place, close their eyes and take a selfie for her. The artist also asked mothers to describe how they were feeling with a simple word or testimonial. Overwhelmed with over 100 responses, Camille felt connected to these women that all shared this intimate moment that ranged from happiness & peace to intense & raw emotion. These selfies were so drastically different from the curated social media personas of these women. Some shared stories about infant loss, others, portraits of them battling for their life in hospital, or just sharing a hug with their little one. What we needed was to connect, feel understood, share our situation with others to heal. Camille found help through reconnecting to her art practice using these portraits of mothers and began seeking professional support in mental health crisis. Taking “just a moment” for ourselves was the start of a new journey. 

 

The proposed exhibition could be presented in a high-traffic retail area, such as a mall, in a pop-up gallery format, taking over a vacant retail space for a temporary time. The transformed location will help connect with those who may not usually attend public galleries, creating a more accessible and inclusive space. The exhibition may be also presented at community non-profits organizations. The viewer would be welcomed into the space and invited to tour the black & white photographs enlarged on canvas and embellished with coloured ink that visually echoes pop art and easily attracts the public into the space. The colours are chosen based on the feelings and testimonials expressed by the portrayed mothers. Each photograph will have a QR code to offer an enhanced experience, possibly with augmented reality which will bring forth authentic testimonials. The viewer will also be invited to share their own photograph and participate in the project by submitting to the artist. If space permits, the artist will also write all the submitted words on a wall and invite viewers to add their own word anonymously to describe their feelings when they take just a moment for themselves. Having partnered with mental health organizations, the artist will also be offering support materials to those in need. A complete media strategy will also be developed to help promote this initiative and invite participants to the pop-up gallery.