Joan Jothi Saldanha
Jothi means light in Sanskrit. An homage to my Hindu Roots
I first discovered my love of all things art as a young child. Dealing with parental domestic abuse and addiction, I found myself alone and scared allot of the time. These feelings were further compounded with the fact that my family was one of 3 East Indian families in the small town that I grew up in. I used visual art, writing and music as outlets to express my pain, tell my story, and as a coping tool to help me process my life at the time. My art became my voice and the only way I felt I could be heard.
Now that I am a happily married mama of two, the importance of art as an expressive healing tool has taken on a much deeper meaning. The world we live in now is so different, and all of the messages that our children are being bombarded with along with the many pressures to conform, inter-generational trauma, mental health, poverty, and much much more, can be very overwhelming!
It is my mission to to show children, youth and families that visual art can help to process pain, pressures, and break down social constructs, giving voice to many who do not have one! Art can be used to tell our stories and express our thoughts, emotions and perspectives. Visual art workshops can be used as a platform, giving us a voice to be heard and to heal. Those who live in the margins, like I did, are often silenced and mostly forgotten about. I want to share how art can help bridge this gap, engage and heal communities.
It is when we are heard that real healing can take place and our true purpose can be discovered.
Today, I continue to create art through commissions, exhibits and shows and am happy to announce my Artist Residency and Art Exhibition in December 2017/January 2018, at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa. My grassroots organization, Eternal Springtime was birthed in 2016 and is evolving as I build key partnerships with local non-profit and community organizations, school boards, and parent/youth groups to develop and deliver healing arts programs to at-risk children, youth and families in the Greater Toronto Area.