From June 16-17, Amelia will be in residence at Meditation Summer. In response to this year's theme of forgiveness and reconciliation, she will create a piece of durational, meditative artwork.
In meditation, a chair is the soft space in which we find freedom from suffering. A chair is the place we go to uncover personal transformation and calm. In restorative practice, our chairs face one another. They engage for conversations about harm and healing. In both mindfulness and forgiveness, chairs set the scene for peacemaking.
Amelia will embroider a set of chairs imbued with the compassionate power of Metta (loving kindness) meditation. The process of embroidery is, in itself, an act of meditation. During her stay, she will sit in silence while stitching the mantra of Metta in the fabric of two chairs.
The Big Solo Project is a documentation of a my movement through the world. It is about bravery, loneliness, and sacred femininity. This project is about my travelling, partings, reunions, and homecomings.
Beginning in Vietnam, I am telling the story of 2017 with embroidery. In collaboration with a seamstress in Hanoi, I created a uniform for adventure. I tell the story of each milestone with thread on a gold linen dress.
VIETNAM - HONG KONG - INDIA - UK - SPAIN - ITALY - USA - CANADA
The Year of Big Possible
Each month in 2016 I chose a different daily intention.
In JANUARY I lived in Victoria, down the street from my family. I worked as a Christmas light de-installer and had a daily physical yoga and Vipassana meditation practice.
In FEBRUARY I left Canada and travelled through Germany before settling in the Czech Republic. I started a month long course in Prague to become a certified English teacher. (TEFL) As I travelled and studied I kept an art journal full of train stubs, museum brochures, paint and doodles.
The TEFL course was intense. I felt stagnant and distant from my body. In MARCH I started going for walks. Walking as art practice and meditation practice. I explored our neighbourhood in Prague early each morning before class.
I accepted the first teaching job I applied for and moved to VIETNAM halfway through the month. My daily walks took me through different neighbourhoods of Hanoi, got me lost in markets and helped me discover my new city.
In APRIL I made a pair of sock poi and followed youtube tutorials. Everyday I practiced spinning on our rooftop. My job didn't officially start for a month. I bought a motorbike and took trips to Ninh Binh and Sapa.
In MAY I accepted a promotion just as I started to work for Apax English in Hanoi. I was given a management role before ever having taught and was tasked with leading a team of teachers. I gave myself the free-form intention of self care to make space for the demands of work. I wanted to take very good care of my mental health while trying to do it all. My final big act of self care was to step down from my promotion and just teach.
In JUNE I started an online intensive in Yoga Philosophy offered by YogaMaze. The course covered the origins of yoga. I studied Hindu and Buddhist philosophy and read key texts.
In JULY I continued studying. I gave myself an extra month to complete the course so I could go back, read deeper and write about what I was learning. I also read Autobiography of a Yogi.
In AUGUST I joined other Canadians in pledging to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 400 page report on the history and effects of residential schools. My mother and I both completed a cultural competency course designed for public health professionals working with/ in collaboration with indigenous peoples.
In SEPTEMBER I went on social media blackout. After a decade on facebook I signed out. I blocked myself from netflix, pinterest, instagram and a handful of other websites.
I travelled to Cambodia and spent four days in the ruins at Siem Reap.
In OCTOBER I came back online and created a new profile and deleted my newsfeed (Kill My Newsfeed). I started Vietnamese lessons twice a week.
In NOVEMBER I wrote a love letter to someone new every day.
In DECEMBER I went back to visual art and drew everyday.
I spent Christmas at an ashram in Bali.
Long After Midnight
My father, Bob, was killed on New Years Eve of 1997. He was beaten to death by two men. He had gone to check on the home of a vacationing friend whose teenage sons were throwing a party. After five years of silence from over two hundred party-goers the police arrested Ryan Alderidge and charged him with manslaughter. He served three years in prison.
My mother was adamant about speaking with Ryan face to face so she could describe the devastation he had caused to our family and to understand why Ryan had made such a horrific decision. When I was 12 I also chose to meet him.
My mother has become an activist for restorative justice, sharing her story in a memoir, Walking After Midnight, documentary, Lifetime movie, Ted Talk and thousands of interviews and publications.
My relationship with my father's death has been positively shaped by the opportunity to participate in peaceful reconciliation. It has also been skewed by the media's multiple representations of my story.
Now, 18 years since my father's death, Long After Midnight is the culmination of four years of artwork exploring forgiveness and learning to tell my own story. The cornerstone of this thesis project is a mixed media quilt created in collaboration with my mother about my hopes for Ryan's infant son. Two videos address the media's sensationalized telling of my story and a series of letters highlights the complex process of forgiveness.
Paintings, sculpture and books. 2011-2015, Maryland Institute College of Art
A vital aspect of my art is engagement with others and sharing the transformative power of creative expression. My community practice focuses around creating safe spaces for participants to make and experience with art.
During my time at the The Maryland Institute College of Art I was involved in the Community Art and Service Program. This unique internship creates opportunities for students to plan, organize and facilitate art opportunities in non-profit organizations throughout Baltimore including schools, neighbourhood art centers and rehabilitation/transitional housing facilities. My site partners included 901 Arts, Banner Neighbourhood Youth Club, Mt. Royal Elementary School, The Arc Baltimore, and Mount Royal Nursery. I had long term placements at the Baltimore City Detention Center andPowell Recovery Center where I facilitated weekly art groups based on the principles of restorative circles.
After graduation I went on to work as the programs coordinator for the New Day Campaign. Over 92 days, the New Day Campaign presented 16 art exhibitions and 63 free public events, and conducted a community outreach campaign in the Baltimore region that opened hearts, changed thinking and conversations, and offered pathways to action.
In 2017 I facilitated an experiential workshop on Loving Kindness Meditation and Forgiveness. Participants were invited to explore alternative definitions of forgiveness and create their own personal Metta meditations.