2022 found us very occupied settling into our new home and getting to know the community, and the natural beauty in and around Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Michael, in particular has become involved with a non-profit daycare forest school program where he did an artist residency (June-Dec. 2021) exhibiting his and the children’s art entitled: “Deceptively Simple” at the daycare for Nanaimo’s 2021 annual Artwalk; this fall Barbara joined Michael for another artist residency culminating with the 2022 Artwalk in a project with the children entitled “Forest Dreaming.”

In contrast with Michael working with the young children, Barbara spent most of 2022 in Victoria caring for her 90 year old mother, Helen, supporting her end of life dying and death process. A long journey of matrixial carriance (carrying + worry + care) with many grace-filled moments of struggles and gifts. Helen’s life on the Earth ended on December 5th. Barbara is returning to her mother’s home in early January to embark on an artist residency to create art as a way to integrate and share the complex and rich experience.

Our co-written book “Art-Care Practices for Restoring the Communal: Education, Co-Inquiry and Healing” which began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic “lockdown” in March 2020 was completed. The book is based on the creative communal practice of Spontaneous Creation-Making–our long time primary art-care practice, and a circle of care co-evolved with some 35 participants online. Check out the 5 minute video trailer. This was Studio M*’s first extensive research project and we are thrilled that the community experience and the book became a beautiful and magical art piece itself. Stay tuned for an online book launch in mid-February 2023 and other happenings and workshop events related to the book and its practices.

Art Highlight

Of many significant happenings in 2022, we were delighted to have Zoom and email conversations with artist-theorist-psychoanalyst-activist Bracha L. Ettinger, and to have her contribute the cover art and write a Foreword for our book that includes several unpublished art pages from her Notebooks. Bracha has been supportive of our work because we are artist-teachers who have put Ettingerian Matrixial Theory into practice, doing so uniquely within art-centered communal practices.

Special Endorsement for Our Book

During the writing of our book we were very pleased to make contact with Jean Watson, Ph.D., RN and founder of Watson Caring Science Institute. Jean has worked with several colleagues from art therapeutic and creative disciplines to bring to life her own caring science theory and practices. Jean wrote about an early version of our book:

“How lovely and inspiring to read this remarkable work of art/artistry, creativity, community- and consciousness of connecting and interconnectivity. This work offers an aesthetic/creative, emancipatory caring pathway for human healing during and after a pandemic crisis. This book invites and evokes fresh new insights, where wisdom is discovered and co-created from within and among circles of caring.” -Jean Watson

Writing and editing books, book chapters and articles kept us close to our computer screens all year and away from our website and teaching. However, that is all going to change as we have more space for Studio M* teaching and research and communication through the website. Let us know if you have interest to visit, dialogue, and co-create with Studio M* this year and in the future.

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