Introducing PWM+MAI joint support artist Tanha Gomes

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal and MAI (Montréal, Arts Interculturels) are thrilled to announce the inaugural season of PWM + MAI joint support for artists interested in working with a dramaturg with artist Tanha Gomes and her project Wreaths of Ashes!

THE ARTIST

Headshot of artist Tanha Gomes
Photo by Daniele Barroso

Visual artist and cultural worker, Tanha Gomes has worked in several artist-run centres and art galleries in Montreal. Since 2011, she has been involved in initiatives that bring art to communities with people of all ages.

Born into a multicultural family in Brazil, she moved to Canada as a teenager and has since lived between these two worlds. Her immigration experience leads her to explore the links between displacement, death and memory. Fascinated by the traces of personal history on people’s bodies and trajectories, she uses photography in order to conduct intimate and delicate explorations of identity. She seeks to create contemplative works using time as raw material, often with long exposures that require bodies to remain still. Tanha’s images are marked by a performative aspect, through simple imprints or a promise of movement. Recently graduated from a master’s degree in Arts Education, she aspires to develop her artistic practice around cultural identity.

THE PROJECT

A sensitive exploration of the links between memory, absence, ritual and mourning, Wreaths of Ashes will consist of a video and photo installation nourished by a series of creative workshops with the public. The installation plunges the spectator into a multi-channel video lasting over an hour, played in a loop, alongside by a photo mural of the objects produced during the workshops. 

History of the wreaths

The project is inspired by a story told to Tanha by her mother. Following the death of a young cousin in the 1950s, the women of the family started to regularly pay tribute to their deceased loved ones by making funeral wreaths from plastic flowers. A few days before the Day of the Dead, they would gather around a table during tea time to weave these wreaths, which became portraits of the deceased, displaying their favourite colours and referenced their lives and some of their features. 

Tanha is the first artist supported by the PWM+MAI joint support for artists program. Over the duration of the program, she will benefit from personalized support for her project, a $5,000 fund allocation, training and reflection opportunities, access to the MAI rehearsal studios, and 30 hours with a dramaturg.

THE PROGRAM

The PWM + MAI joint support accompanies creators on their journey to develop a project and explore their practice. It is aimed at artists encountering structural and systemic obstacles to their full participation in the arts because of their claimed identity and/or perceived identity in society. 

More details about the program available here.

We are so proud to support the development of Tanha’s project, and wish her an exciting creation!

This program is a partnership between
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Project supported by the Government of Quebec as part of l’Entente sur le Développement Culturel and the City of Montreal, and by the Canada Council for the Arts
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