Gestare Art Collective

Current Artists
 Click on our names to see individual artworkings.

Nané Ariadne Jordan
is a mixed-media artist working in photography, textiles and performance art. Her artwork explores notion of the body, nature/culture, place, inspiriting life processes and biophilia (love of the Earth and interconnecting life forms). She has a working background in lay midwifery that informs her research, writing and artistic practices. She inquires into birth and its meaning for women’s embodied experience, and the larger implications of birth and birth-giving within philosophy and feminist theory.

Nané has a PhD (Curriculum and Instruction) from the University of British Columbia, an MA (Women’s Spirituality), New College of California, and a BFA (photography), University of Ottawa. Her doctoral research co-explores the lived experiences of seven women, including herself, who are faculty or student alumni within an innovative graduate degree program in Women’s Spirituality. She engages arts-based research methodology through narrative, auto/biographic, life writing inquiry methods—visual and written artworks become the dreaming, aesthetic consciousness of her inquiries. Her artwork has been exhibited in Canada and the US; her essays and poems are published in journals and book chapters.


Barbara Bickel is an artist, researcher, educator and independent curator. An Associate Professor in Art Education and Director of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, she teaches art as an inquiry process. Her arts-based Ph.D. in Art Education (08), from The University of British Columbia, focused on women, ritual, spiritual leadership, collaboration, and restorative and transformative learning. Her MA in Education (04), also at UBC, inquired into the body as a trans-performative site of text and knowing. She holds a BFA in Painting from the University of Calgary (93) and a BA in Sociology and Art History from the University of Alberta (86). She is a co-founding member of the Gestare Art Collective.

Her solo and collaborative art and performance rituals have been exhibited and performed in Canada, and more recently in the US, since 1991. She co-founded The Centre Gallery (1995-2001), a non-profit women’s focused gallery in Calgary, Alberta and Gallery 3342 in at Southern Illinois University in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her articles on arts-based research have been published in numerous journals and book chapters, and her art has been published in journals and poetry books, as well as on book, journal, and CD covers. In 2015 she published a co-edited book with Routledge entitled Arts Based and Contemplative Practices in Research and Teaching with Susan Walsh and Carl Leggo. She is series editor with Springer Press for both Studies in Arts-based Educational Research and Briefs in Art-Based Educational Research. Go to to see her full personal website.


Medwyn McConachy is a community artist whose work is inspired by her love for the earth and all beings.  Medwyn's transformative and restorative experience as a co-researcher on Barbara's Ph.D., dissertation team in 2006 led to her identifying her love of ritual, photography, movement and multi-media collage making as ingredients of an art practice.  A founding member of Gestare, Medwyn's involvement with summer residencies at Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts on the Toronto Islands, and ongoing collaborative experiences with the collective inspire her to spend many more hours of her life dedicated to making art.

Medwyn uses an arts-based inquiry methodology to explore the relationship between the living planet and the attitudes and beliefs of human populations. She works with mystery, and movement in the conscious and unconscious realms, interpreting her experiences through visual, tactile and performative artmaking. Medwyn's engagement with Gestare's collaborative projects initiated her into co-writing and co-presenting on her work, describing the collaboration experience in matrixial terms drawn from the study of feminist artist psychoanalyst Bracha Ettinger. Go to to see her full persona website.


Cindy Lou Griffith is a documentary filmmaker, writer, visual artist and mental health activist. Her art practice manifests as self-directed research utilizing autoethnography to document what she has named a symbiote consciousness; whereupon, the emergence of a conversant speaker is documented. This symbiote other offers her a lens - an objective eye and ear by which she is lifted into a discrete world to tell a story of Her.

Cindy Lou is a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, she lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada.




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