Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Althea Knight Artist- Healer

Althea Knight. Is an Artist and healer, Here work is eclectic, electric and radiates great vibes. Her work which she considers "outsider art" or "Art Brut" this is work created by folks not formerly trained ,but with a high aesthetic value.
She has combined her Healing practices with creative work, I actually think she found a way to work holistically, There is not a place where art starts and healing ends. I spoke to her.

medium; AK;"Originally acrylics on anything,Paper,burlap. canvas.windows. Then later I tried pastels on canvas. Now I,m using pastels on paper, any paper
me; What,s your subject matter
AK; Oh I go with colour as a theme. the Predominance of certain colours. its the spirit as spirit. I work on the journey of the spirit on earth. which is vibrations, energy, which is numbers colours, its a very subconcious . My work is about the healing of me, and my environment. i am the intermediary its a spiritual and holy practice.

Me; You travel a lot how are you able to work?
AK; well i started to work pastels after my luguage was lost with all my work, its somewhere between Italy and Greece.
Me: oh?
AK; Yeah I lost two and one half years work, like that.
Me; how do you see yourself as a black canadian artist
AK; I'm cosmic dust Materialized baby!(laughs) i'm a cosmo-cosmic being

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I got on the Canadian Art of African Canadians,because after a while I wanted to hear or see what was the experience of other people of colour compared with my own. So the simplest thing was to pick up books, watch films, ask the family.
Well my family, i know them. they know me, I wanted an outside eye. Thats when it started to get Interesting. So much of mainstream reading, at the time,(And i think some today) iTs writing done by people outside of the particular community .
Lets go back. think of "Uncle Toms Cabin" the story of a black man , written by a white woman, plays which made it to broadway like the "four saints in three act," by Gertrude Stein, all black cast, but,, then I think of " porgy and bess" "Emperor Jones what about the bards "othello" which seldom had a black man in the role,so it was writen by a white man about a black man and played by white men. think of all the t.v. shows, how many had black characters written by white people. and in the art galleries there are a number of portraits of black people, but painted by,,you know who.
Black like me
always struck me as a weird piece of work. Heres the deal. in the 1961, a white man gets a procedure done to make himself black. lives in the American South, and writes about it. So what happens here. nobody believes that the situation is dread when black people talk about it, but serious press when white man talks.
but i digress, what do Canadians say about Canadians. try racism eh? and i think to set you off even more read Rinaldo Walcott. or
listen to him

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


picture and art bryan james
Ottawa. O town, the capital. I worked on this piece mainly because Ottawa has this vibe about it. like everyone is living the life, government officials and good gigs. i likened it to living in the "big house," but still a slave. the piece is divided into three separate pieces the large one "ancestor looks on" the smaller piece is "youthful idealism" the third piece which looks like a house is called "dreams of the big house" it lasted one year in the same location. by the way these pieces are not sanctioned I think of it as physical grafitti.

Make more ART.

let us know that you're there

Oh for more stuff that is graffiti like and also with a nod to all things toronto and check out kaewonder at themeaningofdope.com

image david maltby art bryan james

The inspiration came from the reading all the self help stuff that was bubling around, the windows of oppurtunity, the positive thinking, thing. People were still unable , as they are now to see the systemic oppression of people of colour, and gender and class. so this was a open air debate about that. it was removed from the park a week later. but i stood for a week! thats pretty good.
do you know of other works done by black artist, please post, or send me the info.

part two

image by david maltby art bryan james.

life in the lane

photo travis raw, art bryan james

1997, Very few installation works i have seen. This one in Christie pits in Toronto

Monday, March 23, 2009


WELL,they didn't well at least thats the thing i'm picking up. thats the thing i see. in researching online, and through libraries, it's amazing how many times i come across the same old stuff, "No entries found o this enquirey" that blows so i have set out on this journey to find the artists that did exist. those artist who captured the times in paint in stone, in wood and word. They must be out there.

but like the writing thing maybe we are hidden, i wonder if the painters of the day did something like Georges Sands, she changed her name to a mans ,in aorder to break through the testosterone ceiling. maybe a lot of the artist had a beard, went "white face" had dealers or white friends front for them in order to get paid.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I've been thinking about reading lately, I've been wondering, in Canada, We are known for our writers. We got some great writers. but, okay here's the question . name the last African Canadian writer you read? Yeah. and every year when CBC does their Canada reads thing, boy, yeah. So you got a list of writers?

I'll wait. Okay the usual suspects

  • Austin Clarke
  • Cecil Foster
  • George Elliot Clarke
  • Dionne Brand
  • Nalo Hopkinson
  • Marlene Nourbese Philips
I remember "slammin tar", great book , Fantastic. but look over the list. can you name who wrote "Slammin Tar?" now we have a great many african american writers, lots of caribbean artists. But I want to hear about Canucks. We are specific beings. In a way I never thought about it, i just asumed, in the diaspora, we got some amazing writers, caribbean, French, south american. but where is Canadian talent. Send me a list outside of these

Nalo Hopkinson is a treat, she is one of the few Black science fiction writers i know, okay she says its speculative fiction. but not being a science fiction reader, i couldn't tell the difference. but man is it good! you gotta check it out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

reframing the site

hi, I just got to thinking about what this site is all about. I think I will try to be more specific. I really do feel in this day and age there is a drought of art appreciation. Don't get me wrong. I'm not talking shipping kids of to Stratford, and to the galleries to look at classical works. Although I think its a good idea, along with art specific to their community. This is how culture changes,grows. through the interaction of it's members

So I demand Interaction! I want to get involved in what it this Art is and how it effects this soup called "culture" The young are at it! they are working. Of course I think of hip hop culture, which started in the black community, and now is a intercultural/economic force.

I can safely say If we spent one tenth of the money on buying black or culturally meaningful art we could and would employ more people in culturally empowering work. Art! yeah, loaded words i mean hair products, clothing designed by local folks, food prepared by local folks, lamps, books, pictures for your wall, music for your ears. Go to local galleries featuring black artist,Ask your museums to have exhibits. Go to the libraries and demand books written by artist such as Nalo Hopkinson, Dionne Brand.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

its all good

photo and Art Bryan james

I love this internet thing, the one thing i don't like though is the amount of trouble it takes to use it. can i down load a simple image without feeling like an absolute A hole. It reminds me of art, the things that i see sometimes i just don't understand and i should. after all ,,i'm intelligent .i should get it ...i'm gonna try to do this give me h holler it it works,,,,, by the by i really feel bad i didn't get a chance to lots of things this week i'm in rehearsal . please come and see our work Its called "i'm still here" by Margarita Romero. its very good and we could use some folks in the seats. check out Concordia university theatre dept SIPA TJ building march 11-14th .