Moral Alley

The collaborative process of the artist Deborah Waddington

This is a series of posters done in collaboration with crack and heroin users in the downtrodden neighbourhood of Parkdale in Toronto. The goal of the project was to work with drug users to visually explore the ethical undercurrents which inform this community.

I approached thirty street-involved Parkdale drug users and paid each $20 to discuss their moral viewpoint. In the corner of a coffee shop I asked, "What is a motto that is descriptive of the way you believe you should treat other people?"

Once the participant had decided on a saying I asked him/her to explore what kind of visual would best illustrate it. We worked out a rough sketch on paper by organizing details and assigning colours. I completed the posters in my studio and, if possible, I reconnected with the individuals to get their response and feedback. Each participant received a colour print of their poster.

Since this project was initiated a number of the participants have died, or moved out of the neighbourhood as the forces of gentrification and police pressure disrupted the community.

Biography

Since graduating from the Ontario College of Art in 1990, Deborah Waddington has done a number of collaborative projects with such diverse communities as street people, sex workers, and nurses. In 1997 she was awarded the Protégé Award, and in 1999, a Canada Council Grant. She currently works as a counsellor at the "The Works" - the City of Toronto's needle exchange, and on weekends, works at a horse farm in Newmarket.

To see more of Deborah Waddington's work, please visit her website.

Bill

Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Bill

Bill

Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Bill

Bobby

Bobby
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Bobby

Brice

Brice
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Brice

Debbie

Debbie
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Debbie

Debbie

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Debbie

Deborah

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Deborah

Donna

Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Donna

Doug

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Doug

Ed

Moral Alley

Gail

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Gail

Halina

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Halina

Jim

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Jim

Joanne

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Joanne

Kenny

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Kenny

Paul

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Paul

Priscilla

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Priscilla

Sarah

Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Sarah

Susan

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Susan

Vicki

Moral Alley
Author/Creator: 
Deborah Waddington and Vicki