About Me

If CV’s are important to you, you can see my CV here.

If you like stories, you can read a bit of mine below.

For many years folks told me I should start a prisoner pen pal program. My whole thing is getting folks to write each other, to be pen pals (slow communication will always need a place in our lives). Well, it took covid for me to do it, but I did it. I work (volunteer) with 5 other women to run a pen pal program between those who are incarcerated within federal prisons across the country, and volunteers in the outside community. To date we have over 120 ongoing pen pal connections. It’s called Penn2Paper and I work on it everyday. I have two pen pals. It’s the work I want to be doing all the time. My art practice must be an extension of this work. I can’t do it any other way. Playing Paper is an extension of Penn2Paper; it’s an extension of my childhood, of my whole, healing, creative self, and of my responsibility as an ancestor to those who made Treaties with the Indigenous Nations of this land. Art as self care. Self care as community care.

‘Social change moves at the speed of human relationship. Human relationship moves at the speed of trust’. -The People’s Supper

So, what are the values this work requires of me (and that I willingly hold)? Solidarity to Abolition through transformative community care; courage, honesty, accountability, tenderness, humility, beauty.

What are some of the obstacles to this work? Isolation, silencing, punishment as justice, trauma.

I see how limited my understanding of the world is as a white woman, with the family I come from, and the childhood I had. For me to continue to show up to this work it is imperative that I be listening to, and acting in solidarity with the many voices already doing this work. I am inspired by and seek to emulate such artists as On Kawara, and Laurie Anderson. I listen to and read Ruth Gilmore Wilson, Bell Hooks, Lee Maracle, Winona LaDuke, and adrienne maree brown.

One thought on “About Me

  1. Wow!!! Allyson I love your work!! I just finished reading your article in the CBC news and think that what you are doing is amazing. Please keep me in the loop with what you are doing….
    Rhia aka. Pelee girl 🙂

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