I’ve been taking my time to find the moment to announce this project. It’s big news for me and it’s been years in the making.
I’m honoured that I was selected to receive support from the OAC Literary Creation (Works for Performance) program, to create and record a new audio poetry collection titled Child in the Mist: (un)known influence.
I am using source text from my great-grandmother’s 1933 parenting handbook, The Child in the Midst, to create new work using erasure and cut-up poetry techniques. The final audio pieces will be released as a recording of spoken word poetry with accompanying sound art.
The project is already challenging and rewarding.
This representation of rebirth of matriarchal wisdom, through transforming text across time and generations, raises questions for me as an an interdisciplinary artist about how I engage with the creative process to uncover themes and understanding. I’m working in ways that are deeply personal and yet intertwined with so many stories beyond my own. My perspective is shifting as I find new ways to consider legacy and family history, reckon with my own identity as a creating mother in interrelation with my community, and seek to better understand my ancestors and myself through grappling with the words of a prolific and driven woman in a complex global context.
The photo above is an image of my great-grandmother, Lucy Winifred Bryce, with her younger sister. She was not yet Bryce but still Robinson in this photo. She was born in Japan, daughter of Canadian missionaries. People say I looked like her as a child.
If you’d like to hear more about what I’m doing, you can follow along on instagram @bylaurenbest or join my email list.