CreateSpace Public Art Forum 2022

An artistic response to the 2022 CreateSpace Public Art Forum, a national forum virtually convening participants who identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural and/or youth with disabilities and between the ages of 18-25. Participants were presented with online talks themed around public art practices, studio tours by artist facilitators, a Keynote Event by artist Lori Blondeau, and opportunities to engage with fellow peers to inspire their final creations.

Project at a Glance

Location: Woodbridge, Ontario

Artist: Afifa Bari

Year: 2022

Program: Artist Capacity Building


CreateSpace participants


artist facilitators


keynote speaker

Artist Statement

Re:Define is a short animation created to showcase and depict some of the systemic injustices brought on due to capitalist ideologies in contemporary society. Using digital collaging techniques, this piece reflects contemporary hustle culture and its impacts on mental health.This work intends to explore spaces as a form of activism as well as a form of healing. Postponing activities that encourage wellness are overtaken by the never ending deadlines that create a sense of being trapped and a constant seeking of escapism.

About the Artist

Afifa Bari

Afifa Bari

Born in 1997, Afifa Bari is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto. She earned her BFA in 2020 from York University, specializing in Visual Arts and Art History. Primarily using oil paints, she creates paintings uncovering larger concepts around the ideas of capitalism, consumerism, and materialism in her work. Currently, using those larger topics, her practice is focused on uncovering the fashion industry. Her works focus on diving deeper into the socio-political and environmental factors that contribute to the fast fashion and textile industry. She explores this using oil paint, installations using recycled textiles, digital collages, and works on paper. She hopes to promote ethical fashion and sustainable practices through her work.

CreateSpace Public Art Forum

STEPS Public Art believes public art has the ability to challenge the systemic inequities that exist in public space. In support of this important work, we facilitate artist capacity building programs that foster inclusive public art practices, build the capacity of underrepresented artists, and demonstrate how public art can help reimagine equitably designed cities.

CreateSpace Public Art Forum is a digital forum that virtually convenes participants who identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural and/or youth with disabilities and between the ages of 18-25. This forum fosters connections, builds understanding across geographies and cultures, as well as provide emerging equity-seeking artists with the skills, relationships and support needed to develop public art practices. Visit the online gallery to view all artistic responses by the 2022 forum participants.

CreateSpace Public Art Forum is supported by Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts and CIBC.

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