This exhibition presents the work of more than twenty individuals who have been directly affected suicide. Under the direction of Yehudit Silverman from Concordia University in collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, participants from diverse communities attended creative arts therapies workshops at the museum where they created masks.

 

The project's goals were to raise awareness about the prevalence of suicide and its effects on families, loved ones and communities. Sadly, and all too often, those left behind suffer in silence, isolated and alone. A metaphor for the veil of silence and the stigma surrounding suicide, the mask became the means for these courageous participants to convey their emotions about their experience, resulting in the works you see on display here.

 

Four groups participated in these workshops in the spring and fall of 2016: a group of Inuit, many from northern Quebec, who are members of lvirtivik, the community skills development organization; a group of survivors who have lost loved ones to suicide; a group of support workers dealing with issues around suicide; and a group of people whose lives have been directly touched by suicide. The participants were offered guided tours of the Museum's collection, focussing on the materials and formal qualities of the artwork as well the concepts of resilience and emotional expression. They also attended three creative arts therapies workshops led by certified art therapists and supervised by Professor Silverman, in which they explored various mediums and construction techniques as they created their masks. We invite you to enter this exhibition in a spirit of gentleness and reflection. Be a part of the Seeds of Hope movement.

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