Being Inspired by Leopold Plotek

Three paintings by Leopold Plotek in the Koffler Gallery

Gallery photos taken by Richard Max Tremblay, and are installation views of No Work, Nor Device, Nor Knowledge, Nor Wisdom, Koffler Gallery, Toronto, 2017.

In February, fellow members of the Imagining Possibilities team and I took a trip to Koffler Gallery and experienced an exhibition titled No Work, Nor Device Nor Knowledge, Nor Wisdom by Leopold Plotek. There, I saw paintings that gave me inspiration and different ideas about expressing emotions. These paintings inspired to express my emotions through my own paintings as well as through the manipulation of fabrics and story making.

Firstly, Leopold Plotek’s paintings got me thinking about the masks I saw in a recent participatory theatre performance called Shelf Life at the Tarragon Theatre. In that performance, Stephen Sillett, an ADCID facilitator who was with us during our visit to Koffler Gallery, played the father. The chorus wore masks during the interludes throughout the play, and this had an impact on me artistically. It is something I am still thinking about.

Thinking about Paintings in Theatre

Similar to the relationship to these masks, the paintings in the exhibition also had the ability to transport me to very different worlds. Laura, a new member of the leadership team, also expressed similar experiences regarding this. Many paintings showed me things that were challenging in my own life. They also connected to my own personal issues of aging with CP. It makes me feel stronger when I spend a lot of time working out the meaning of artwork. It is very different to trying to understand things in my body which are often painful.

On the day that we visited Koffler Gallery, the Imagining Possibilities Leadership Team was taken on a tour of the exhibition in a respectful way. During the tour, Leopold’s artistic intentions were explained in depth by a gallery docent. It was something that I know the whole team, including myself, was appreciative of.

Afterwards, as a team, we used that experience to create an interactive performance event. We spent many hours preparing the performance and it proved to be a very creative and lively undertaking. Come to the Edge was a performance that took people out of their comfort zones, as they participated alongside our team to create stories. I greatly enjoyed taking part in creating and performing in that show. Now, I also see myself becoming a better performer. I hope this can help me when I present some of my own personal stories in the future.

Written by Joe Jessop. Jessop was part of the original explorations from the original 2011 project and rejoined the group in 2016 as we prepared to create the Come to the Edge performance.

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