Earthseeds: Space of the Living
Olamina Public Art Installation
What is it?
Olamina is a larger than life public art sculpture currently living at Aitken Place Park by the Toronto waterfront. This installation is part of the BSAM Canada Earthseeds: Space of the Living Waterfront Artist Residency supported by Waterfront Toronto and Waterfront BIA. It is greatly inspired by Octavia E. Butler’s Parable series, taking its namesake from the main character of Butler’s novels, Lauren Oya Olamina, and the folktales of the African water deity, Mami Wata.
Check out Olamina in various stages of development.
Moving Through Chaos
There are several parallels that we chose to include from Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents in our installation, one of them being dealing with closed off world/isolation. In 2020 the pandemic allowed us to slow down and contemplate the decisions we wanted to make moving forward.
We took inspiration from the Yoruba influence for Lauren’s last name, Olamina, and the symbolism of Oya – a powerful Yoruba Orisha able to control the winds and storms and affect great environmental change.
Olamina is an indirect embodiment of the Mami Wata folktales. Mami Wata is a water spirit which is revered in African and Afro-Caribbean cultures. She is often depicted as having the head and torso of a woman and the tail of this fish. Water spirits in African folklore often touch on the idea of change and moving forward. Like Mami Wata, Olamina intersects both earth and water. Both represent dualities of elements and forces in life.
We set out to call attention to Toronto’s waterfront along with what it means to be by the water. Water is a powerful source for physical and spiritual healing, and stimulating calm. It can create highways to carry us from one location to another. Water is a wise teacher. So as we celebrate the art and the waterfront we also encourage conversations about our relationships with water, earth and community.
Don't Forget to Journal!
Once you’ve finished your Kemetic Yoga session, take some time to reflect on how you feel, the state of your mind and the energy in your body. Write down your thoughts in the Kemetic Yoga Journal. Click the image to download.
Earthseeds: Space of the Living – Kemetic Yoga lululemon water bottle to help you stay hydrated after releasing toxic energy and reconnecting to the depth of wisdom available within your sacred body
Check the BSAM Canada Instagram to learn how to enter.
Black Youth in Public Art
We gave 4 Black youth the opportunity to participate in a five-session hybrid Public Art Experience that exposed them to online wellness workshops, and an inside look at the production of a public art installation.
Youth got the chance to participate in the production of Olamina, and explore themes of healing and inspiration that inform BSAM Canada’s Earthseeds project.
Olamina will be available for viewing at Aitken Place Park from Saturday, August 7, 2021 to October 2021.
A big thank you goes out to our youth emerging artists for their support: Levyi-Alexander Love, Amirah Alleyne-Frederick, Livity Hussey and Abena Rodney