Before Gapers Block’s hiatus in the beginning of this year, I interviewed Corinne Peterson about her ongoing workshop and installation based work, “The Cairn Project,” which has been in action since 2015. I have been keeping up with Corinne’s progress and constant dedication towards, “healing the split” and have found her work powerful across all media and all groups of participants. A few days ago, with excitement and expectation, Corinne launched her Kickstarter campaign for the remainder of her workshops in 2016, “Shaping Clay, Shaping Life.”
“The Cairn Project” is made up of 350 participants that have attended 38 workshops in the past year and a half. In these workshops, participants are encouraged to face their trauma, whatever it may be, and represent their suffering in the form of a clay rock. Meditation, guidance, and silence are aspects that create a calm and peaceful environment within the space — discussing personal stories is optional. A porcelain token is made and represents the inner light and the future hope that can come from suffering.
The workshop has been held with participants that include: immigrants, transgender youth, LGBTQ youth, cancer survivors, survivors of sexual abuse, Iraqi, Burundi, Burmese refugees, mentally ill, veterans, the bereaved, blind, nurses. We’ve worked with Awakenings Foundation, Thresholds, Heartwood Center, Kenwood Academy, Advocate hospitals, El Circulo, International FACES (Heartland), NAMI Chicago, Zhou B Art Center, National Veterans Art Museum, Lillstreet Art Center.
The Kickstarter campaign hopes to reach a goal of $8,000 and beyond. Corinne has been funding the project from her own pocket, small fundraisers, fees from workshops, and outside donations. She hopes to have physical assistance, transportation, studio costs, and materials, supported with the funds raised in the Kickstarter. Additionally, she hopes to document her project with video, audio, photography, and clear writing.
Corinne has exhibited the “Cairn & Cloud: a collective expression of trauma and hope” in four spaces which include: Zhou B Art Center, Art on Armitage, Wicker Park Lutheran Church, and Lillstreet Gallery Annex. Forthcoming exhibitions include: a sponsored exhibit by the National Veterans Art Museum around Memorial Day, Oak Park Art League, October-November, and Citlalin Gallery, November-December, all three in 2016.
The Kickstarter campaign will be active for a month — 26 days left to donate!