Major Peace Art Installation Comes to Moncton

Major Peace Art Installation Comes to Moncton

The Gown of Stillness-Gown of Peace Art Installation by Magie Dominic

Events will be held at Galerie 12 in the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, 140 Botsford Street, Moncton.

“In 1994, I contacted writers, artists, environmentalists and peace groups throughout the world. I invited them to send fabric pieces, which I planned to sew into an installation I was creating called The Gown of Stillness. Their fabric would represent a symbolic hope for global peace,” Dominic says.

Gown of Stillness-Gown of Peace
Gown detail, Holland and five Canadian Provinces
She enclosed a note that said, “If this world were a small child in need of healing, I would buy it a hospital gown, extra large, and give it intensive care. I would ask people, all over the world to add beauty, grace and love. The Gown of Stillness is a visual letter, a work in progress.”

“There was a metaphoric response that was completely and utterly unplanned,” Dominic says. “Across borders and cultures, across races and faiths, the majority of people worldwide, strangers to one another, responded with lace. A global language seemed to exist in reference to a hope for peace that stepped outside the parameters of language, as we know it. Lace equalled language, equalled hope, equalled peace.”

The Gown of Stillness-Gown of Peace, Magie Dominic
Gown Detail, Former Yugoslavia, Japan, Canada and U.S. lace
Dominic received lace and embroidery from Canadian poets, writers, musicians and composers; embroidery created by a woman who had been raped in the Former Yugoslavia and was now living in a safe house; delicate fabric from a Canadian politician; thin material from an actor dying from AIDS; lace from Europe; pieces from wedding gowns and children’s clothing.

“Everyone sharing a universal sensory perspective,” she says. “Lace equalled symbol; equalled language; equalled voice – fabric overlapping like notes in a global symphony. The hope, portrayed through fabric from people around the world, has become a sound unto itself, the sound of peace, the sound of lace.”

Currently, The Gown of Stillness-Gown of Peace contains fabric from 91 people in 15 countries including several people in New Brunswick. Each year its dimensions increase.

“My hope is that it will one day be room size so people entering the installation will actually be entering the Gown,” Dominic says.

The Gown of Stillness-Gown of Peace was recently on exhibit at The United Nations in New York City. It may be viewed Friday December 10th from 10am until 5pm, and Saturday & Sunday December 11th & 12th from 1pm until 5pm at Galerie 12 in the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, 140 Botsford Street, Moncton.

The Queen of Peace Room Book Jacket
The Queen of Peace Room by Magie Dominic
On Friday December 10th at 7:30pm Dominic will read from The Queen of Peace Room and a new manuscript in progress followed by discussion. In her recent book, The Queen of Peace Room, Dominic writes about her life with epilepsy, her experiences growing up in Newfoundland in the 1940’s and 50’s and New York in the 60’s to the present day. Dominic explores violence against women in the second half of the twentieth century and unearths the memory of a generation.

“Dominic offers a new understanding of ones own life, as well as the lives of others. The Queen of Peace Room is expansive life writing. The refusal of one human soul to let go of its dignity, its absolute unwillingness to surrender, is genuinely heroic,” said Ms. Magazine. “The Queen of Peace Room is a courageous and spiritual book.”

The Queen of Peace Room is a book about re-inventing self. It is a book about addressing memories; regardless of the pain, indifference or fear those memories may represent.

“Magie Dominic puts her guts on every page without being mawkish, with sentiment, but without sentimentality. You’ll love this book,” said Donald Forst, editor-in-chief of The Village Voice.

The Queen of Peace Room began as a poem. It went on to be nominated for Book of the Year, Autobiography, ForeWord Magazine, 2002; The Judy Grahn Award, Best Nonfiction, 2003 and for The Canadian Women’s Studies Association Award, 2004.

On Saturday December 11th from 10am until 12:30pm Magie will give a Life Writing Workshop. Registration is $25.

The workshop will provide hands on writing projects and explore essential elements of a story, and how to develop and organise memories.

This workshop is open to everyone willing to make the commitment of a few hours to begin the process of life writing.

“Everyone has a story to tell and no one can articulate it as well as the person who has lived that life,” Dominic says. “This workshop can be used to develop your own material. It will offer an opportunity to write about experiences that are unique to the individual — family stories, personal experiences and memories of the past.”

Magie Dominic
Author and Artist, Magie Dominic

The Queen of Peace Room is life writing and Dominic will use the book in the workshop as an example of how the many aspects of a life can be gathered and woven.

Magie Dominic is a writer and artist living in New York City. She was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Globe and Mail and the Village Voice.

One of the founding members of the Off-Off Broadway movement of the sixties and a member of Poets Fast for Peace during the Vietnam War, she has walked with Ginsberg, given poetry readings with Moondog, written poetry, short stories, essays and non-fiction, and developed a creative writing curriculum for high school students at risk.