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arts | arts education | causes | disease | poetry | visual arts

Fighting dyslexia with art: Alexandra Cantle and Headstrong Nation

Transdisciplinary artist Alexandra Cantle is dyslexic. Not only has she come to terms with this inborn disadvantage, she has mined it for inspiration for her art, and from there it has woven itself into the fabric of her art practice and philosophy. Art helped Cantle get in touch with the deep inner wounds she had suffered along the way. This fostered an awareness of the damage that had been inflicted upon her self-esteem, and from there she had a path to regain power and move from victim to victor. Alexandra’s art practice draws on this personal experience and projects it boldly outward, focusing on creating engagement, community, and public awareness about and among people who learn differently.

The graphite-stained hands of transdisciplinary artist Alexandra Cantle, working in the studio of Amanda Katz during her Lamp Project interview about dyslexia and Headstrong Nation.

The graphite-stained hands of transdisciplinary artist Alexandra Cantle, working in the studio of Amanda Katz during her Lamp Project interview about dyslexia and Headstrong Nation. Photo: Amanda Katz.

All of this makes Headstrong Nation, a non-profit organization focused on dyslexia, a perfect fit for Cantle and the magic of creativity. Cantle has brought a combination of visual art and poetry to workshops presented by the organization, and as you’ll see in the video, the results have been inspiring. The poetic element provides an outlet for participants’ hurt and frustration, while the freeform visual component not only allows for a meaningful representation of the experience of being dyslexic but also ameliorates fears of using written language.

See Alexandra Cantle’s art in person until Wednesday August 27 at the Ventura County Arts Council‘s Atrium Gallery as a part of their “Art Saves Lives” exhibit. And stay tuned more from The Lamp Project on the artist and her work.

More information on the organization comes from their web page:

Headstrong Nation aims to end the isolation of the world’s largest (it’s true!) disability group by providing information about dyslexia, self-advocacy and new technologies. To do this we help dyslexic adults and parents of dyslexic children learn the facts, figure out how to play to their strengths and connect with others to form a movement dedicated to levelling the playing field for people like us.

Your support of Alexandra Cantle means she’s able to continue making beautiful, meaningful art. But it also grows the platform for her positive message that can help millions—the message that creative expression can unleash a person’s potential and sometimes even transform a disadvantage into a work of art.

If you like canvas shopping bags as an ecologically friendlier alternative to paper and plastic, Alexandra has printed some of her art onto canvas bags with striking results. We’re looking into whether you can buy them directly online. Or don’t wait for us… ask her about it yourself at alexandracantle@gmail.com.

Transdisciplinary artist Alexandra Cantle, surrounded by her work in the studio of Amanda Katz, during her Lamp Project interview about dyslexia and Headstrong Nation.

Transdisciplinary artist Alexandra Cantle, surrounded by her work in the studio of Amanda Katz, during her Lamp Project interview about dyslexia and Headstrong Nation. Photo: Amanda Katz

LEARN about
Alexandra Cantle
VISIT
Headstrong Nation
DONATE to
Headstrong Nation

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CREDITS

JP Wecker picture editor
Mick Raskin production sound mixer
Jeremy Scott Olsen sound editor / mixer
Dalton Gaudin director of photography
Amanda Katz writer / director / producer

Paula Minardi supervising producer
Jeremy Scott Olsen executive producer

“Lamp Project Theme 2011”
written and produced by
Nathan Schafer

still photography courtesy of
Alexandra Cantle

workshops held at
Park Century School, Culver City, CA
Eagle Hill – Southport, Southport, CT

logo courtesy of
Headstrong Nation

with great appreciation for our all-volunteer crew for their talent, dedication, professionalism and time

copyright 2014 by The Lamp Project
all rights reserved

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