Unfinished Work Podcast
Season One: blk scotian; blk art
Three African Nova Scotian artists, Kate Macdonald, I'thandi Munro, and Kordeena Clayton, sit down to discuss their artistic journeys and the unexpected learnings along the way. These interdisciplinary artists rotate hosting conversations with other Black artists to explore themes of healing, practice, and representation, often exploring subjects that institutions, systems, and spaces haven’t easily held.
Available wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Episode 8: Closing
In our final episode, your hosts Kordeena, Kate and I’thandi, reflect upon their time spent together discussing the corners of their lives and their art not often shared. Tune in to hear them tie it all together.
Episode 7: Parenthood and Art
Tune in to your hosts, Kordeena, I’thandi and Kate, explore the journey of parenting. Through lenses of deep historical and ancestral ideologies coupled with our ‘makeshift’ parenting innovations, from OG parents to novice level, they crack open discoveries as parents and artists.
Episode 6: Healing and Care Through Art with Bria Miller
In this episode Kate, Kordeena and I’thandi, are joined by multi-disciplinary artist Bria Miller to discuss rest, practice, healing, and connectivity.
Bria (she/they) is a Queer, mixed race African Nova Scotian visual artist born + raised in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, currently residing and creating within Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia. Current artistic focus is creating printed matter featuring their art (stickers, posters, illustrations, custom merch, logos, signage, etc) and wearable items (jewelry, clothing, pins, keychains, etc), while also learning new mediums and as much as they can. Their art practice is a means to encourage self expression and reflection, spread affirmation, explore nostalgia and relationships, play, raise awareness about important issues, while also combating feelings of isolation especially through the pandemic. Issa survival necessity.
Bria has been working to create opportunities, programming, closed spaces, intentional resources and spaces that support marginalized artists and creatives through their work as a previous CoDirector of Khyber Centre for the Arts, before then as a caseworker at Elizabeth Fry Society, and additionally as an arts educator, facilitator, and event organizer since 2014.
Working closely with artists on a wide range of projects through the pandemic and in curation for four years has inspired a new pursuit into art full-time, so Bria is delving more into their own art practice and launching Bria Makes Things, briamakesthings.bigcartel.com, where you will be able to see and buy Bria's art.
Episode 5: Legacy with Sylvia Hamilton
A giant in terms of creating important dialogue with art and film, the wonderful Sylvia D. Hamilton joins Kate and I’thandi to discuss community, wisdom and wishes for the future, in a conversation spanning generations in time.
Sylvia D. Hamilton is a Nova Scotian filmmaker, writer, multi-media artist known for her award-winning documentary films and her publications, presentations, and extensive volunteer work with artistic, social, and cultural organizations at the local and national levels. Her films include Black Mother Black Daughter, Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia, Portia White: Think on Me, and The Little Black School House; they have been broadcast in Canada and screened at national and international festivals.
Her 2014 poetry collection, And I Alone Escaped to Tell You, was a finalist for several awards. Excavation: A Site of Memory, a multi-media installation, has been shown in galleries and museums in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. One adaptation titled Here We Are Here, gave its name to the 2018 Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) national group exhibition titled, Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art, that was exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Her recognitions include several honorary degrees, a Gemini Award, and the 2019 Governor General’s Award in History (Popular Media). She has a B.A. from Acadia University and an M.A. from Dalhousie University. She held Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax and has taught and given lectures at many universities in Canada, and at Middlebury College in Vermont, and the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. After her retirement from the University of King’s College in 2020, where she held the Rogers Chair in Communications in the School of Journalism, King’s named her an Inglis Professor and launched five annual awards in her name for African Canadian students.
Episode 4: Nocturne
For many artists in the region, showing their work at the Nocturne festival is a big deal. Hear how I'thandi, Kate, and Kordeena navigate this huge opportunity and festival while being black.
Episode 3: Art School with Letitia Fraser
On this episode the ever-brilliant Letitia Fraser joins Kordeena, Kate and I’thandi. Together they unwrap the complexities of being black in institutions and the wealth of inspiration they draw as artists from their deep African Nova Scotian roots.
Letitia Fraser is an interdisciplinary artist, with a focus in painting and textile arts. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Fraser is a proud descendant of African Nova Scotian communities, North Preston and Beechville. Coming from a long line of artists, her artistic interest was nurtured early in life. Fraser’s work centers around the African Nova Scotian experience, showing life through the lens of an African Nova Scotian woman. As a painter, Letitia draws inspiration from her family and community’s history of quilts. Fraser completed a BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2019, and has participated in several solo and group exhibitions.
Episode 2: Endless Possibilities with Kadeem Hinch
On this episode Kordeena, Kate, and I'thandi invite you to laugh alongside graphic designer Kadeem Hinch, whose eye for aesthetics and sources of inspirations will have you feeling ready to create. Tune in to hear them discuss artistic dreams and aspirations.
Kadeem Hinch is a full-time graphic designer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, currently working with the Provincial Government. Kadeem has over 7 years of experience in the industry and is passionate about providing clients with professional service, quality design, and trustworthy results.
Episode 1: Why Are We Here?
Hosts Kate Macdonald, I'thandi Munro, and Kordeena Clayton talk purpose, practice, and legacy in this introductory episode to Blk Scotian; Blk Art. Their conversations explore the themes that inspire their art making practice, balancing family life, and their distinctly different artistic journeys.
Kate Macdonald was born and raised in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki. Proudly African Nova Scotian she studied Performance Acting at Ryerson University in Toronto, ON. At the end of 2016 with the political climate swiftly changing around she felt called to mobilize. Out of this desire to make a change she Founded and Created The Magic Project. Which focuses on bringing marginalized brilliance to the forefront of social media using various forms of visual arts. Kate is a Community Facilitator, Programmer, Activist, Artist and Curator. She hopes to continue creating and designing workshops, holding space for community discussions and empowering marginalized youth through celebration. Her art practice has always included photography, poetry and performance theatre. But she has been long fascinated with any art forms she came across. Themes that especially interest Macdonald include themes of justice, healing, joy, magic, self, community, energy, shapes/movement, and ancestral connection. Recently, Kate, Trayvone Clayton & DeRico Symonds created an African Nova Scotian community based, youth-led initiative called The Game Changers. After a year of working together in advocacy, activism, and community they decided to collaborate officially. Currently, Kate is the Branch Manager at the North Branch Memorial Library - a branch that has long been a staple in the African Nova Scotian community.
Most recently, Kate has been selected for the Eye Level Artist in Residency and for the Bus Stop Writers’ Circle Grant which allows emerging writers to work on their craft and develop new ideas.
I’thandi Munro is a mixed Afro-Euro L’nu woman living in Kjipuktuk, Mi'kma'ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. Munro is a professional performance and visual artist. In 2020 she completed her BFA earning a double major in Photography + Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing from NSCAD University. As a racialized person living in a postcolonial environment, Munro uses the representation of line and of lineage as the underlying concepts through her fine art, craft, and dance. Often merging mediums into finished pieces there is always a sense of multiness within her work. Melding notions of the digital within her craft Munro continuously seeks to learn new ways of making. She leaves space for her pieces to naturally evolve through reaction and discussion. This creates an ever changing flux body of work that can be continued, explored, and realized in many different ways. Munro is a SSHRC funded research assistant for Craft and The Digital Turn, sits on the board of The Woods professional hip hop dance company, is a programming committee member at Eyelevel Gallery, and works as a programming and communications assistant + project coordinator at Nocturne Halifax. I’thandi continues to teach dance at East Coast Dance Academy and is now a mom of two who loves doing the most for her family, and community.
Kordeena Clayton, Daughter, Mother, Sister, Wife and Owner of She Nubian Liberation Art & Apparel, founder of Takin’ BLK Business initiative Co-operative, co-founder of the Takin’ BLK Gottingen and Markets. A descendant of the first African migrants to ever accompany Nova Scotia, a proud African Nova Scotian Queer Visual Artist who focuses on the importance of representation of Black and Brown people; Inclusivity and self-embracement. Known for Unapologetically Black and Unapologetically Queer Apparel, photography, graphic and clothing design, film making and painting.