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Proudly wasting time and money since 1993, Sid Lee Collective is a creative incubator that helps fund, produce and exhibit passion projects of fearless, global artisans. No matter the day job, we believe everyone benefits from pursuing collaborative creative projects you love. That’s why everyone at Sid Lee gets up to 10% of their time to make passion projects happen.

 

Sid Lee Collective Blog is devoted to sharing our collaborations, stories of inspiring creatives, and community events too. Content and creative direction comes from the Sid Lee ateliers in Montreal, Toronto, Paris, LA and NYC.

 

If you have a collaboration in mind or a story that should be told, drop us a line.

Sid Lee Collective is also an active member of C2 Montréal, the largest innovation conference in the world.

Profiles
Refuge artist profile: SHAWNA X
March 20, 2017
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New York based visual artist, Shawna X, took some time to tell us about her role in the world as an artist. Art is often diminished when it seems like there are “bigger problems in the world,” but Shawna X recognizes that it’s important to harness her privilege of expression and create good to speak up for those who have a smaller voice. Read more to find out about her concept for the neon installation in Refuge.

Q:

How do you describe yourself and the work that you do?

A:

I am a visual artist and designer residing in New York. In both commercial and personal work, I've worked with a variety of media - including digital illustration and projections, painting, product design, motion, exhibiting my thematic interest in vibrant colors and juxtaposition of shape and composition. I make work to evoke energy, seduction, and morbid curiosity - my three most powerful drives.

Q:

What are you exhibiting at this show? What are you trying to accomplish with it?

A:

"4.8 Million" is a neon installation with a specific dedication to Syrian refugees. I want to (literally) shine a light on the refugee struggle for freedom; a collective pain from displacement from home, to the perilous journey - losing loved ones by sea and disease - for a safe haven, only to be rejected and turned away, either by law or by the people of the new country. What is it like to be trapped, to be placeless, to be singled out, to feel worthless? 

Many of us have never experienced this type of pain and thus may feel far removed from the crisis. It's crucial to recall empathy in any small aspect.

Q:

For you, how is creativity used as a weapon to protect civil liberties?

A:

The beauty of creativity is that it gives power to the little voice inside you that you might hear and aren't so sure if it's there. It helps you understand a different perspective. I hope to utilize my work to empower the voice that speaks for unity and acceptance.

Q:

How do you see your role as an artist in these increasingly fucked up times?

A:

It's suffered. Sometimes I feel like it doesn't matter. When our world is suffering, the last thing anybody cares about is artistry and creativity. However I must remind myself that being an artist is a privilege because my life thus far has given me the space to think, feel and create freely- and that inspiration from art is almost as good as faith, it speaks and helps people who need it.

Q:

Who are you looking to these days for inspiration?

A:

I'm increasingly influenced by writers - especially ones who have struggled in their personal lives, namely Yukio Mishima, James Baldwin, Viktor Frankl, Richard Brautigan. I am also fascinated with historical documentaries - the one via Oliver Stone on Netflix - as it gives me context, and right now I need that perspective. 



Written by Diane Paik

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