Former Faculty, Undergraduate Studies
Residency Site: Plainfield VT
MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College; MES in Environmental Studies, York University; BA in Sociology, York University.
I am deeply interested in the experience of cultivating a conversation between the seen and the unseen, of noticing in and noticing out. This integration of the spiritual, the physical, the emotional and the intellectual is what characterizes my life and my teaching. As an interdisciplinary artist I am happiest working with the same questions for many months, or even years, to ripen my understanding and intimacy with different themes or problems.
My curiosity is ignited by blending, seemingly, unrelated disciplines in an investigation and I love to work with students in this way. I love helping students find links between their areas of passion and new questions. My own education has journeyed through many different disciplines – engineering, business administration, sociology, environmental studies, dance and visual art.
From this smorgasbord of learning experiences I have developed a broad range of learning approaches. I was not always a successful student so I have first hand experience with the challenges of fitting into a learning environment. I strongly believe that effective learning has to allow space for personal reflection. This kind of reflection might look, to some, like wasted time. But I believe that we need to develop a stomach for this and to recognize the difference between being idle and being lazy.
As a long time meditator and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism I am interested in how techniques of self-reflection can be woven into rigorous academic study. You can see an example of how I have been using this kind of self reflection in my own learning journey at this link. I came to artmaking relatively late in my career and I have a soft spot for working with students who are just beginning to open to this kind of creative process. In recent years my areas of research include the production and consumption of food, cultural dimensions of obesity, contemplative approaches to study, and the power of consumers in Western economies.
I love to be active and am fortunate enough to live by the ocean in Nova Scotia, where I can hike along the rocky coast with my doggie every day. To see examples of my visual artwork please visit my website: www.annieabdalla.com