Gomo George is an artist and storyteller working in paint, sculpture, performance, a part of the Works-in-Progress collective of artists. Part of being in a collective means that when we can help each other out, we do, and working with artists with diverse stories, experiences, and mediums means we learn from each other. This is a video we made together, at a storytelling event for Black History Month, at a school library that doesn't exist anymore. I was there to document and create a video from the event; the stories are all from Gomo.
Storytelling is a political act- the act of remembering and adapting and keeping the past alive. Political doesn't mean adversarial, it just means there is an agenda, a reason to tell stories beyond the enjoyment of a good tale. Gomo explains that people who have to leave their home bring it with them, in stories. They adapt those stories to keep their home alive in their new home. By hearing stories of Black experience, Black history becomes becomes our history, all of us. Play the video, he says it better. Happy Black History Month.
A (very) little more about the artist:
Gomo George emigrated to Canada many years ago from the Caribbean island country of Dominica, and he has drawn on the rich history of his country of birth through his intricate paintings of Carnival. You can read an article about these paintings in Moko Magazine here.
Gomo and his daughter Abeyomi shared their kite-making passion with us in the summer in an online workshop for Father's day, You can see more about that in our blog here. He is preparing new work for a show at the Art Gallery of Ontario in August, and will share another workshop with us once the weather warms up and we can get together more.
-posted by Tanya Murdoch
More Gomo George works online:
We plan to host a pandemic safe clothing swap in the Spring (you can find out more about those plans and how you can be involved here) There are so many benefits to a clothing swap: community building, saves money, keeps clothing in use, out of the landfill, but also, some good stories and funny connections.
My son got these snowpants when he was six. It was the year of the ice storm and the natural ice rink at June Rowlands Park. He is now 13 and taller than his mother; he outgrew these snowpants 5 or 6 years ago and swapped up for a bigger size. This week his well used pants (name still on them) returned in a trade with a neighbour- they have been through many hands in between. The plan was to swap another pair of outgrown pants for these, so I could do an up-cycle experiment. It was a surprise to see them again.
The pants are good sturdy pants, and once I saw them, it seemed a shame to cut them up (plus the side zippers wouldn't work for my experiment) so they became an experiment in mending instead. We usually seek out natural fabrics to up-cycle but also have accumulated some funky acrylic indoor/outdoor fabric samples. These are all indoor/outdoor swatches that can last for 15,000 double rubs! (I don't know what that means but seems durable.) NOTE: These fabric samples accumulate with designers and furniture shops, and get tossed, so you can ask your local upholsterer or designer if they have any.
True up-cycling- this is an improvement on the original. The traveling pants are modeled here by the original owner -much too big for them- as we pass them on back again, with a bonus patch if needed to get them through to Spring and their next story.
art experiments turning waste into beauty