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Oneika Russell

Personal Storytelling Tool #1


The Personal Storytelling Tool #1 (prototype)


SUMMARY


The project comes from a video installation that I am working on which references images from Mafalda Mondestin, Phillip Thomas and Ludgi Savon called Voyage.  I was interested in pooling images which used the black silhouetted figure to speak about the Afro-Caribbean story. In the process of creating the film I also wanted to create an interactive element also which I could use to engage persons with the themes in the animation which are to do with ecology, history and individual awareness of it in all our current stories. Let me know if you have any other questions. 

The card deck has allowed me to start to think about a more socially engaged practice. My plan is to use it to do sessions with persons and record it with who agrees so that we can have a slowly building archive of stories and insights. I am doing a workshop online and in live over the next few months but I do want to keep doing it over time. It may edge into performance in some ways but it is more about the social engagement in and out of art spaces. In an art space I envision getting to the point where the video installation would be in the same space that I do the engagement with. Outside of the art space I am arranging it as a workshop and allowing those who are requesting to use it to use the deck in their own social practice with communities. I want to keep documenting how others use it through my site and YouTube channel.



MORE DETAILED INFORMATION

Introduction

'Personal Storytelling Tool #1' is a card deck which has 11 question cards and 41 image cards. The card deck comes from a video work 'Voyage' also being created to think about the individual awareness and consciousness in relation to history, ecology and spirituality. The tool seeks to encourage introspection, connection, awareness and perspective. This work references images and ideas from my own studio practice but also that of Mafalda Mondestin (@mafaldamondestin)Phillip Thomas (@phillipthomasart) and Ludgi Savon (@lulunovas).



In the process of creating a visual story for self-inquiry


Using the deck

One of the things I realised while doing this project is actually for me to reconnect with my own environment and to notice it and incorporate it into my work more often because the results are far exceeding my expectations. The other thing I became aware of is that this work is one I would like to keep working on and see how the themes and ideas can be spread into different modalities. This card tool/ game is more a medium for creating connections between people and my artwork and myself. It is also a tool to help people understand themselves, the environment and Art in a different way.  


I am working on creating a digital guidebook which documents the exercises I have come up with as well as the way others have used it. Check back here for when that will be made available. The exercises/ engagements created which will be documented in the guidebook focus on using the deck to encourage self-inquiry, mindfulness, empathy, processing emotions, storytelling etc.




                




You may use the question cards along with the image cards or use them separately for different purposes. You may use either image or question cards or both types of cards as:

  • As a tool for self-reflection and self-discovery
  • As a visual prompt for journaling and art creation
  • As a source image in meditation and patchwork
  • As a creative writing and storytelling tool
  • As a tool for building connections within teams and groups
  • An oracle deck on its own or along with tarot cards


Possible explorations

In discussions with curator, Matilde Dos Santos we talked about various ways this work can go forward and she shared about the Museo de Pessoa in Brazil as a living archive of stories from communities. I have begun to think about using this video to create impact and make the connection between art, ecological, historical and self awareness. I envision using both the video and the cards in various workshops in the future.



Workshops & Sessions

In sessions with participants I have acted as a guide to help persons work through

their way through the cards as a tool to construct their narrative and become more self-aware. In the creation of this deck I researched and became familiar with 

self-therapy card-based tools, cartomancy methods such as Tarot and Lenormand. 

For some participants who wish to add this to their session I have added a tarot reading to accompany the assisted self-inquiry with the Personal Storytelling Tool #1. If you would like to find out more about group and personal sessions you can contact me at [oneika (dot) russell (at) gmail (dot) com].  



Documented private session with a participant during an exhibition, 2021


Media Resources

The Prototype of the deck - (video)


A sample of a storytelling session facilitated by the artist  - (video)



Accessing the card deck

Since sharing about this project online I have had various requests to make it available to the public. Due to this I have decided to make the cards available. I will be using these cards in my own practice for social engagements but I am very interested to see how other practitioners of other modalities use these cards as well. I invite you to share the ways you have used this deck in your own work via text and images. I will select some of these reports to share on the site.


This deck is still in a beta stage of development and is therefore not being mass-produced at present. At this point each deck will be printed on demand. Each order is received by the artist and processed on demand from the printery. This will mean that orders may take between 2-4 weeks to arrive depending on your location. To order the cards there is a dedicated online store where you can place an order at this link below. Each of the artists whose artwork is referenced in the creation of this deck will receive royalties from sales.


The link to where you can get a hold of this tool is coming by the end of November, 2021.



News & Updates

- I will be partnering with UniArte in Curacao to do an online session for a select number of participants with the card deck. The workshop is set for November 20 on Zoom. You can register through Eventbrite here


- Virtual live sessions on Instagram or YouTube are being planned also to engage with participants later this year into next year. You can follow me on those platforms to keep notified about live sessions.


- Personal Storytelling Tool #1 is now available through orders placed at this page dedicated to sales from my studio: Oneika Russell's Studio

Through the site you can also arrange a group workshop or one on one session with Oneika.



The Personal Storytelling Workshop


November 20, 2021 - Supported by Stichting Uniarte