Catherine Taron
Vancouver Island Visual Artist
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The Talking Circle

24" x 24" acrylic on canvas

This painting was inspired by a tumult of ravens that arrived in my yard for a raucous ‘discussion’. I’d never seen so many ravens together, and so close. They hopped from one tree branch to another but generally stayed in a tight group, almost a circle. It was an awesome sight! Their vocalizations and the considerable time they stayed made me think of a ‘talking circle’, each venting their different opinions. I have no expertise with talking circles, which I understand originate from indigenous culture. Generally, they are used for sharing differing perspectives among the participants; in the circle, people can work through conflict or differences in a safe, constructive way. Talking circles are helpful wherever there’s interest in understanding one another and solving problems. Everyone comes to the circle as an equal. Quite simply, talking circles aim to better understand what it’s like to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’, which seems to me a good idea during these polarized times.