BRANDON, MB – The Brandon University (BU) community had an opportunity recently to view the work of student artists that was displayed in an art show inspired by BU’s Positive Space campaign. Students of Professor Peter Morin’s Drawing Class II created illustrations to capture their take on the phrase “I only take up Positive Space,” and displayed their work in the University’s Main Dining Hall.
As a group, the class decided on an image that best represents the Positive Space campaign to be printed on T-shirts and sold on campus. A second drawing was chosen with the aim of producing temporary tattoos to be distributed to incoming students at Orientation in Fall 2015.
“My classmates and I worked hard over the term to come up with ideas that reflected ‘I only take up Positive Space,’ and through each other’s feedback and criticism we developed these ideas so that ‘positive space’ was better represented in the images we created,” said Merissa Mayhew, Drawing Class II student. “I have been asked a lot; why a jellyfish? And the honest answer is because it is ambiguous. You can’t tell what it is through gender or sexuality except that it’s a jellyfish, and that jellyfish could be or represent anything or anyone.”
At the event, students of Professor Peter Morin’s Indigenous Studio class honoured the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women through rattling and singing, inviting all members of the BU community to make space for marginalized voices. Finishing on a positive note, participants were asked to hug each other.
BU’s Positive Space campaign was launched in October, 2014 to create an affirming, safer and more welcoming campus culture for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, two-spirit, and queer (LGBTTQ*) students, staff, faculty and community members. Under the leadership of Dr. Corinne Mason, Assistant Professor in BU’s Gender and Women’s Studies and Sociology Departments, this campaign has built awareness by offering workshops and developing a visual identity unique to the goal of Positive Space.
“The Positive Space campaign is flourishing on campus” said Dr. Mason. “I’m particularly proud of these students who have taken such care in learning about LGBTTQ* issues and I am excited by how the campaign is transforming by making important connections between resisting oppression of queer communities and mobilizing against the impacts of white-settler colonialism. Taking up Positive Space is about making room for voices that are too often ignored.”
Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, and educates students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.
For more information, please contact:
Assistant Professor, Visual Art
Dr. Corinne L. Mason
Assistant Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, Sociology
Communications & Campaign Officer