syncretic art workshops in museums
The Royal Ontario Museum hosted a six week exhibition of Dragon Tango in 1998/99 during which Amanta and David directed Syncretic Art workshops for school groups.
Amanta also designed and distributed an accompanying workbook including full colour images of the dragon sound sculptures, a history of the project, activities, songs and stories.
During one performance for children with special needs — most of whom were lying on stretchers or in wheelchairs — the children spontaneously burst into song, singing, ever so gently, one of the songs in the workbook. It was a deeply moving experience.
ROM visitors were invited to add a drawing of a dragon — showing what the dragon means to them — to the ongoing dragon wall as an adjunct to the exhibition.
Visitors were also encouraged to bring an old, mismatched glove to contribute to Healing Hands - Spirit Gloves as an offering to the dragons. The glove is thought to retain the wearer's handprint and life history, therefore ROM visitors were invited to write a message as a personal promise to protect the Earth. Messages were inserted into the glove that then joined the collection of other gloves. The Spirit Gloves traveled with the dragons as a symbol of environmental awareness.
This installation of found and donated gloves later evolved into the work Glove Forest which was subsequently exhibited at Thunder Bay Art Gallery, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Art Gallery of Algoma.
The Edmonton Art Gallery hosted a six week exhibition of Dragon Tango which was accompanied by a twice-daily series of Syncretic Art workshops for public school students, directed by Amanta Scott in 1998. Students also participated in the initial stages of Glove Forest.
Students created their own mini- sound sculptures; were invited to explore playing percussion music upon the dragon sound sculptures; and discuss the significance of the dragon as a symbol common to all world cultures yet varying in significance and interpretation.
Through a number of presentations integrating visual art, music, theatre and dance; students expressed issues relevant to themselves and the world around them.