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Why Community Engagement - and what it means to my work

cj fleury

This work is a kind of frontier; an uncertain edge at the sea of imagination.

In the early 1990's, two key events drove me to explore "engagement". My first public-sculpture experience was at Ottawa's Women's Monument Against Violence. Challenging work with activists and politicians, and witnessing the crowd's intense reactions at the unveilling, were worlds away from anything I'd ever felt through studio or gallery processes.

Another awakening occured, during a "yarn-painting" workshop, with a visiting Huichol shaman. He answered a question, through his translator, explaining that his people had no "artists", that everyone "makes things" as part of daily life.

I began collaborating through public commissions, grants and self-funded projects; exploiting the dynamics of diverse groups and qualities of energy, risk and belief. I studied anthropology to better understand my trajectory; that lens guides me now; stretching my practice in terms of media, method and artistic outcome.



Crazy Smooth - Bboyizm


Megan English - Community Engagement with dance


North Yorkshire Youth Dance Connecting with local environments

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