The Spark Loves: Elephant Edition

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his week, there are two things we love, love, LOVE and that we want to share with you.  Before we even get started, we highly encourage you to go check out each individual website (links are below), as there is no way we can do justice to each in their entirety here!

1) The Dialogue Projects

This is an incredibly cool initiative, founded by four young women from Toronto. Their mission is to improve the accessibility to mental health resources, to break down the stigma associated with mental health issues, and to encourage people to start talking about their experiences with mental illness.

In their effort to raise money, which is then donated to various mental health organizations in the GTA and beyond, The Dialogues Project sells canvas totes, t-shirts and mini clutches, all featuring their symbol: an illustrated elephant.  In their words, this “represents the proverbial elephant in the room”  (HOW CLEVER!). One of our favourite part of The Dialogue Project is their blog, aptly named “Voices”, which features stories shared by people who have experienced different kinds of mental illness; the stories are honest, raw, and told with the sole purpose of educating and raising awareness so that no one need suffer in silence.  Check out it out here!

We absolutely love this project and its incredible mission, and we are proud to be neighbours with such an amazing group of women!

2) Ashes and SnowGregory Colbert

This is one of the most beautiful photography exhibits we have ever seen, but the work’s overarching vision and message make it something truly special.  Starting in the early 1990’s, Gregory Colbert began photographing and documenting the incredible interactions between humans and animals, visiting all seven continents, and capturing more than one hundred species. The primarily sepia-toned photographic works – displayed on huge canvases, without caption – have drawn more than ten million visitors from around the world, making Ashes and Snow the most attended exhibition by any living artist in history. You will be wholly captivated by the intimate interactions of Colbert’s subjects, and the palpable, raw emotion captured in his work. And you will be even more amazed to hear that he was born in Toronto!

“In exploring the shared language and poetic sensibilities of all animals, I am working towards rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people saw themselves as part of nature and not outside of it. The destiny of whales cannot be separated from the destiny of man, and the destiny of man cannot be separated from the destiny of all of nature. I am exploring new narratives that help build a bridge across the artificial boundaries we have established between ourselves and other species.”

Gregory Colbert

“[His] images, visceral yet dreamlike, return us to a place we long for but cannot name.”

“The stars you see at night are the unblinking eyes of sleeping elephants.”

For best results, we recommend rocking your new elephant illustrated t-shirt from The Dialogue Projects, while adding the perpetually-traveling Ashes and Snow exhibit to your bucket list. What’s not to love?!

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