Artist Statement (Velvet Wells, 2023)

My artistry is deliberately chimeric, complex and layered. My characters have dualistically embodied empowered Black excellence and Black mundanity. I am more interested in story sharing, with the fourth wall behind the audience, than storytelling at them. My work seeks to be insightful for and from my audiences. This inclusive sharing is profoundly cathartic, unflinching and gratifying

For some audiences, I am resonance — validating their perspectives and dreams. For some audiences, I am dissonance — challenging their comfort and privilege. Blackness isn’t the only core to my perspective. I’m equally championing my queerness, my disability, my age. I spent my life trying to live as a mirror for society’s values. Now I’m challenging society to mirror mine

Velvet Wells

Land and Waterways acknowledgment

I grew up in Tkaronto, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Now, I reside in Ottawa — the unceded, unsurrendered territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. Both are home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples

Although I was a cultural orphan, I continue to educate myself about the impact of the Canadian project – beyond the oppressive history of Black people, as taught as an afterthought by Canadian schools. I’m learning about our culture and influence, stories, and the way Black excellence appears across communities and inventions

I embrace Black Joy as advocacy, and actively reject the premise that Black Trauma is the only acceptable form of theatre in spaces historically dedicated to the white gaze

I’m more and more aware of the continued genocide of and oppressive mechanisms against Indigenous people. This is not history, this is today. Injustice continues — by government at all levels (federal, provincial, and local) and in communities. I am working to decolonize my mindset, action and choices. I am donating, when I can, to Indigenous-centred organizations and encouraging others to do the same. I am speaking up against colonialism in colonial spaces, and learning to listen more and create more space for Indigenous voices to be respected

Innovative Recent Projects

Artist Statement (2022)

Artist Statement (2021)

%d bloggers like this: