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Feature Loop Youth Artist: Emine

Emine is the Youth Facilitator and Consultant for the Loop's Youth Leader Team. We want to highlight her incredible artistic skillset and take this opportunity to share more about her story and her involvement with Loop!

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself! A: My name is Emine, and my pronouns are she/her. Although I am currently a student in STEM, I try my best to implement art and creativity into my everyday life. As many could relate, I began art at a very young age– drew the sun with sunglasses at the corner of each page and a house right in the center. However, it was not until I moved to Canada did I make art a central and most essential part of my life, as a way of coping with homesickness and loneliness. Currently, I love working with watercolour and ink to create pieces exploring human nature and behaviour, while I volunteer in the community in my free time. Q: You are a part of Antyx’s new Loop Genesis Sculpture Project! What do you hope to accomplish being a part of the Loop project? A: Immigrating to Canada several years ago, I often felt like I didn’t have a community to belong to and that I was not someone who necessarily fit in here; that is, until I began volunteering and became more involved in my community. I met great people who made me feel like I was home and gave me a sense of belonging here. So, through this project, I hope that other youth and anyone else who has had similar experiences can come together, share, connect, and feel like they are part of a community which welcomes them with open arms and hearts. Q: What does the Loop project mean to you? A: Through the Loop project, I feel like I have already learned so much about the land that we live on. In our discussions, “storytelling” was something that was frequently brought up, and I think that truly is what this project means to me – to sincerely listen and share. It is through the sharing of stories – the stories of Indigenous people, immigrants, and all those who reside on this land – where we develop a sense of understanding, connection, and true belonging. Q: What connection do you have to your art and/or work? A: As many artists can relate, when we create, we put a bit of ourselves into our pieces; so, I feel a deep sense of connection to the messages of my artwork. As someone who mainly finds inspiration to create based on the two questions, “How do I feel about what’s happening around me?” and “How am I feeling?” my art truly captures my thoughts and emotions in that very moment. When the news is full of injustice, I find my art reflecting the concern and sorrow I feel, when I struggle with my mental health, my art reflects the clear yearning for warmth. In a sense, my art pieces are little bits of artifacts that reflect the ‘Emine’ and her world of that time. Q: Can you tell us about a role model who has inspired your career or your life in general? A: In terms of my artistic journey, Myriam Tillson, a dark and surrealist artist, has inspired me greatly. As I began experimenting with art more, her art played a key role in finding my own artistic style. She states that her work explores the “unspoken complexities of human relationships, both with ourselves, others, and the world around us” – a message and artistic style I truly admire and look up to. I would highly encourage everyone to check out her work. Q: What is your biggest motivation? A: My biggest source of motivation and support is my family. Knowing the rough past of my parents and witnessing all the sacrifices they have made to ensure my success and happiness, I feel encouraged to work hard when such great opportunities have been granted to me. Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? A: The best advice I’ve heard has been in Turkish and one which is useful to recall whenever presented with a dilemma; “vereceğin kararlardan hangisi daha iyi bir hikaye başlangıcı olacaksa, o kararı ver.” Which roughly translates to, “Of the decisions you will make, whichever will become a better start of a story, make that decision.” Q: What is your dream project or goal? A: Ever since I was a 14-year-old girl, I have always wanted to become an architect and design Ottoman-style mosques, especially in my home country – Turkey. I have always admired architects like, Mimar Sinan, and their ability to create designs way ahead of their time. It has always been my dream to be fully involved in the process of building a mosque, including its creative and design process.

Join the Youth Loop Team! Loop is offering 12 Youth Leader opportunities for youth ages 14 to 24 connected to the North-East communities! Join a diverse group of youth passionate about social change in this two-year-long project. The youth team will participate in creative field trips and community gatherings, day-camps and regular ongoing sessions with Antyx, the Artists and Elder to learn about the land we live on and explore the significance of each season from various cultural perspectives. As we develop ideas for the new sculptures at the Genesis Centre, members will work as part of a creative team through a series of arts-based projects such as paper-making, charcoal and pigment making, drawing, writing, video, photo, and puppetry. Youth team members will develop skills in leadership, creative thinking and problem-solving, art, project management and teamwork, while gaining confidence, making friends, and strengthening their connections to their communities. School credit, volunteer hours, and an honorarium of $400 will also be offered for committed youth team members who complete the one-year research phase with us. This project starts in SUMMER 2021 with a July 11-17 (Covid restrictions pending*) online/offline summer camp and there are limited spots available for our youth team so please get in touch to sign up! No prior art experience required. Email for more information about the application process.

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