Joy as a Form of Resistance

 Cross Disciplinary Artists in Residence Mary Coss, Daemond Arrindell, Dani Tirrell, and Anastacia Renee Tolbert collaborate at Cornish Arts Incubator
The artists explore the idea that Joy is a form of Resistance through the Lens of Water

Free Performance: Sunday February 4, 6:00pm; Alhadeff Studio at Cornish Playhouse

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”   –  Rumi

#BlackJoy: the understanding that even finding a reason to smile is also a form of resistance in a system that was neverdesigned for us to thrive.  –  Kleaver Cruz
When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness…all the good things. –  Maya Angelou

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea. – Isak Dinesen

In today’s divided society, where being a part of a marginalized group (people of color, female, LGBTQI, etc.) can put you at risk – be a danger to your mental health, your well being, even your life – happiness can be hard to come by, especially if one ascribes to the belief that it is only achieved through financial gain. We ascribe to the belief that joy is a state of mind: an intentional choice of empowerment, not in spite of our identities, but as a celebration of them. We see joy as a form of resistance and transformation, against what our capitalistic society has taught us. But how do we engage it? How do we reach this state of mind, intentionally? As artists we asked ourselves these questions and the conclusions that arose focused on digging into our intersectional identities. We plan to undertake a journey together to explore the critical, historical and personal metaphors inspired through the lens of water. We will experiment with how these ideas can be expressed within a permutation of written and performed poetry, dance, and visual art. Our intention is to explore water as a vehicle for joy and transformation. We share a common practice to pull back layers to explore the humanity and the conditions in which we live. We believe in transcending labels to search the underlying meaning and to interpret these ideas through a visceral expression that explores and examines transformation. Through open discussion we have found a working path together. This path allows inspiration not limited by one’s personal practice, but a collective practice that feeds upon ideas and imagery and manifests without boundaries of skill sets. While each of us is constantly growing and progressing within our respective art forms, we also have each amassed a vast knowledge base and level of expertise. The act of including each other in our creative processes encourages us to examine our methods and rationales and what makes them effective for us.
We are excited to learn how this collaboration can expand our individual practices, to see how discussion and different perspectives can impact and challenge the boundaries of our creative process. Evaluating your art through uninitiated eyes gives new points of view and fuels critical analysis to strengthen your own expression.