Transcript: Raquel Madahbee | Oct 27, 1992

(music plays)

Colourful geometric shapes slide slowly on the screen with the title “ARTS AND YOUTH” on a grey textured background.

The screen shows a girl in her twenties, sitting down on the grass, out in the open, next to a lake. She’s drawing.
A caption reads “Raquel Madahbee.”
She has long curly dark hair and wears a purple sweater and glasses.

Raquel says
I THINK ABOUT ART AS
BEING A PERSONAL OUTLET
FOR SOMEONE WHO
WANTS TO GET AWAY.
FOR MY FANTASY, I JUST
LIKE TO GET AWAY
THROUGH MY OWN HEAD.
I FIND DRAWING RELAXING.
IT TAKES ME AWAY.
LIKE, SOME OF MY
FANTASIES THAT I DRAW,
I CAN ACTUALLY FEEL
LIKE I'M IN THE PAINTING.

New images show Raquel’s work. She uses a black pencil to draw fierce felines confronting a unicorn. Next, a series of images show more of her pieces featuring creatures that resemble animals.

Raquel continues
THE FIRST IMAGES I
LIKED WERE HORSES
BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT
OF MAJESTIC THINGS
YOU CAN GET OUT
OF A HORSE.
LIKE A HORSE WITH WINGS
AND THE HORNED HORSE,
THE SO-CALLED UNICORN.
I DO DIFFERENT BEASTS THAT
JUST COME OUT OF MY HEAD.
I TAKE INTO THOUGHT
WHAT COLOUR HE IS,
IF THEY'RE GOING TO
HAVE SCALES, OR FUR,
IF THEY'RE GOING TO
BE IN WATER, OR IF
THERE'S NO WATER WHAT
ARE THEY GOING TO DRINK.
OR DO THEY HAVE A
DIGESTIVE SYSTEM?
THERE'S A LOT OF OPTIONS
YOU CAN DO WITH FANTASY.

A new work appears on screen. This time it is a painting that portrays a human-like warrior fighting a furious and hairy beast. The composition completes with reptiles and a flying eagle with a sea background.

Raquel explains
THERE IS ANOTHER FANTASY
PAINTING THAT I HAVE DONE.
IT IS ABOUT A MAN,
A HUMAN MAN, BUT WITH A
SCORPION'S TAIL.
HE HAS A SPIKED CHAIN
WITH A BALL AT THE END.
A SPIKED BALL.
AND HE'S SWINGING
IT AT THIS BEAST,
WHO'S TRYING TO GET THE
EGGS OF THESE TWO LIZARDS
ON THESE WASHED-OUT STAIRS.
THEY'RE JUST STAIRS THAT
WERE IN THE OCEAN,
LIKE THE BEGINNING OF
ATLANTIS OR SOMETHING.
YOU HAVE TO GO INTO IT.
YOU HAVE TO JUST LOOK
AT IT AND DECIDE WHAT
YOU THINK, WHAT YOU
WANT TO HAPPEN.
I WANT PEOPLE TO HAVE
THEIR OWN DESCRIPTIONS
AND HAVE THEIR OWN FANTASIES
ABOUT THIS ONE PICTURE.
AND IF YOU CAN DESCRIBE IT
OR SOMETHING, THERE'S A LOT
OF THINGS GOING ON THROUGH
OTHER PEOPLE'S HEADS
AND IT'S KIND OF INTERESTING
THE WAY I CAN MAKE AN
ILLUSTRATION AND MAKE
A STORY OUT OF IT.
YOU KNOW, JUST
WRITE A BOOK.

The screen shows Raquel working on her art at a workshop, sharing the table with other artists. The room is full of drawing and painting materials.

Raquel says
YEAH, THERE WAS A TIME THAT
I FELT LIKE GIVING IT UP.
JUST BEFORE I STARTED HIGH
SCHOOL I TOTALLY RIPPED UP
EVERYTHING BECAUSE I WAS
ANGRY AT A LOT OF PEOPLE
LIKE MY PARENTS, AND A LOT
OF PEOPLE WERE KIND OF
CONCERNED AFTER THAT
SO PEOPLE ACTUALLY TOOK
INTEREST AND THEN I JUST
STARTED GETTING BACK INTO IT.
AND THEN RIGHT AT HIGH SCHOOL
I STARTED TAKING ART AGAIN.
YEAH, I LIKE TO
WORK ON MY OWN.
I LIKE BEING INDEPENDENTLY
WORKING ON MY OWN KIND OF THING
AND NOT HAVING TO BOTHER
WITH BEING CHECKED ON
EVERY TIME TO SEE WHAT'S
SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY
AND WHAT'S SUPPOSED
TO BE THAT.
I JUST WANT TO
DO IT MY WAY.
AND FIND OUT WHAT KIND
OF FLAWS THERE ARE
AND THEN FIX THEM.
THE MOST FUN PART FOR
ME IS BEING ABLE TO CREATE
SOMETHING AND ACTUALLY PUT
IT ON A PIECE OF PAPER.
MOST PEOPLE CAN'T DO THAT
OR THEY SAY THEY COULD NEVER.
WELL, MAYBE THEY COULD.
THEY NEVER KNOW BECAUSE
THEY NEVER TRIED.

(music plays)

A new series of drawings shows figurines with notes on the sides for each piece of clothing included in the design.

Raquel says
IT'S POSSIBLE I COULD BE
GOING INTO A FUTURE OCCUPATION
IN FASHION DESIGN.
I HAVE A GOOD
APTITUDE FOR IT.
I CAN DRAW A PERSON'S BODY
AND ACTUALLY MAKE SOMETHING
OUT OF IT.
LIKE MAKE THE KIND OF
CLOTHING THAT THIS PERSON
WOULD HAVE TO WEAR.
OR WHAT I THINK WOULD
LOOK BEST ON THEM.
IT'S NOT EXACTLY ABSTRACT.
I CAN ACTUALLY SEE MYSELF
MAKING THE CLOTHES.
I USUALLY TAKE APART
MY OWN CLOTHES AND
TRY TO RE-DESIGN THEM.

Raquel’s now back on the grass, drawing.

Raquel giggles and concludes
I THINK ART STUDENTS
CAN RELEASE SOME TENSIONS
THROUGH ART, AND OTHER
STUDENTS, BECAUSE THERE'S
A LOT OF STUFF YOU CAN
PUT ON YOUR PAPER
AND JUST GET RID OF IT.
AND THERE'S A LOT OF TENSION
GOING ON THROUGH
DIFFERENT SCHOOLS BECAUSE
OF THE PRESSURE PUT ON
THROUGH MID-TERMS AND
OFF-THE-WALL TESTS.
LIKE WHEN KIDS ARE MAD AT
THEIR TEACHERS THEY'LL TRY
AND DO SOMETHING TO THEM.
IT'S LIKE TAKE IT OUT ON A
SHEET OF PAPER, DRAW.
I DON'T KNOW.

(music plays)
The end credits roll.

Director, Allan Novak.
Producer, Gladys Richards.
Associate Producer, Nicole Hallett.
Executive Producer, Kathryn McFarlane.
A production of TV ONTARIO. The Ontario Educational Communications Authority, 1992.

Watch: Raquel Madahbee