Community Art Project Explores Themes of Water and Journey
Frozen Voyage, by artist Akshata Naik, brings together people and stories in Collingwood
At the Niibi Gathering on Friday, August 9 and the Sidelaunch Days Harbour Festival on Saturday, August 10, the public was invited to take part in an experiential art project.
Participants of all ages were asked to take a few minutes to think about their personal history, where they come from, what they like about their community, and whom they love and feel most connected to. These thoughts were then marked onto paper that was folded into 350 paper boats and glued onto canvas. The paper boats both reveal and hide the thoughts within their folds.
The result is a 40 foot long community art piece, called Frozen Voyage, that recognizes and celebrates our diverse stories and identities. Frozen Voyage is conceptualized around the idea that we are all individual, with our own stories and journeys, but we are also part of the larger community that we live in.
The concept for the project was developed by Akshata Naik, a Toronto artist who has exhibited her work in Canada, Britain, and India. Akshata lives in Toronto where she is the Program and Gallery Manager at Arts Etobicoke. She also teaches at Art Ignite, Neilson Park Creative Centre, and Vibe Arts.
“After seeing Akshata’s work with the Toronto Arts Foundation last Fall, we were so impressed that we wanted to try something similar in Collingwood. Akshata's exploration around the theme of water and travel fit perfectly with our events at the Awen’ Gathering Place and the Sidelaunch Days Harbour Festival,” says Arts & Culture Coordinator Tanya Mazza.
"My art practice has grown dynamically over the last few years and community engaged art projects have added another dimension to my work. Being a newcomer to Canada, and a women and an artist of colour, the opportunity to interact with diverse communities through my art projects has allowed me to explore Canada’s rich cultural fabric and diversity. Having the audience interact and contribute to my artwork, weaves together a larger mosaic of individual stories that leaves a lasting impact on me and hopefully the communities I work with,” says artist Akshata Naik.
The public is invited to view Frozen Voyage during Open Houses being held on Tuesday, August 27 and Wednesday, August 28 between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. At the Open House, join the project by folding your own boat that will be added to the artwork. The public may also see Frozen Voyage, along with the other artwork, in Council Chambers during Council Meetings.