Saturday, April 12, 3-6pm
ThirstLab Workshop #4 presents Body-Mind-Water Aquatherapies, exploring the ability of water to act as a healing force. The Workshop will serve as a forum to exchange stories as well an opportunity to learn-by-doing a variety of physical skills related to the watersports of surfing and fly-fishing. Participants will gather at Proteus Gowanus at 3pm and then walk together to our friend and neighbor, the Gowanus Showroom, which has kindly donated its large and airy space to us for the remainder of the afternoon.
Hope Ginsburg & Sponge HQ’s felted water adventure gear and designer Barbara Compagnoni’s interactive digital “wii” surf meditation game will set the day’s playful tone. Next, Emmy Award winning filmmakers Lexy Lovell and Michael Uys will discuss their ongoing “Blue Marble” documentary film project on marine biologist Wallace J. Nicholson’s “Blue Mind” work encouraging scientists to study the emotional impact that water has on people of all ages. We’ll also hear from Chris Holub of “Surfer’s Healing”, a nonprofit organization that teaches children with special needs and their families how to catch a wave. And we’ll learn about Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military personnel and veterans by providing fly fishing experiences.
Be prepared to participate! Lena Roca will offer a sample “surf yoga” workshop in the space, leading us through poses and breathing techniques that relate to surfing moves that will help you rip,while PHWFF master fly-fishing anglers will teach us fly-casting motions and how to craft fly-fishing lures. What physical skills and personal tales can we share that will deepen our appreciation of local waters? By the end of the day, workshop participants will report back on the most interesting stories or insights that were “hooked” through this unlikely but lively exchange.
Lexy Lovell + Michael Uys are a husband and wife filmmaking team whose feature documentary, The Good Soldier, follows the journeys of five combat veterans from different generations of American wars as they sign up, go into battle, and eventually change their minds about what it means to be a good soldier. It has won multiple awards including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Long Form Historical Programming and the Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary. Their first feature documentary, Riding the Rails, the story of teenaged hobos during the Great Depression, also garnered 18 major awards, including Best Documentary from both the DGA and the LA Film Critics Association, Outstanding Documentary of the year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and more. In ThirstLab, Lexy and Michael will discuss their current in-process film project that aims to illuminate the “Blue Mind” neuroconservation research of marine biologist Wallace J. Nicholson, and the ocean’s dynamics within people’s psyches and everyday lives.
Tamar Franklin and Andy Roberts are, respectively, the Mid Atlantic Program Coordinator and Lead for New York City’s Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF), a nonprofit organization that provides basic fly fishing, fly casting, and fly tying instruction. They also provide field trips designed to help wounded military personnel overcome obstacles associated with their military service-related disabilities. The benefits of these trips range from helping to restore fine motor skills to providing the simple benefit of spending unhurried time alongside rivers, lakes and oceans. While PHWFF teaches fly fishing techniques, perhaps the greatest benefit for many members’ is realizing that the attunement to nature required by this sport can improve the health of mind and body. In ThirstLab, Tamar, Robert and other PHWFF members will share their stories and offer fly tying and fly casting lessons to workshop participants.
Barbara Compagnoni is an East Coast surfer and Long Island based artist who worked over a decade for HBO before returning to graduate school to pursue an MA degree in Design & Technology at Parsons The New School for Design. Her current game design and installation work explores abnormalities in biological rhythms and their effects on mind, body and spirit. By approaching projects in a whimsical manner, her goal is to deepen the understanding of one’s own psyche. “Let Go Or Be Dragged,” featured in ThirstLab, is a digital environment and interactive video game that replicates Barbara’s experience of personal healing gained through surfing: your ability to catch a waves resides in your capacity to breathe calmly and carefully observe the movements of the water.
Chris Holub is a lifelong surfer who provides private instruction to new surfers about wave riding, surf etiquette, Ocean awareness and fun under the moniker Surf Notionless. She also volunteers for Surfers Healing, a foundation/ free summer camp for autistic children that has changed Chris’ life. For the past seven years, Chris and her husband have volunteered at the East Coast Surfers Healing in Long Beach, NY, riding side by side with some of the best surfers in the World to help change the lives of thousands of autistic children.
Lena Roca is a yoga instructor, massage therapist trained at the Swedish Institute of Massage Therapy, and owner/creator of Yoga on the Rocks in Rockaway Beach, NYC, offering classes in Vinyasa (flow) yoga instruction geared towards all levels, with an emphasis on fitness, rehabilitation and alignment. After Hurricane Sandy, she teamed up with Michelle LaDue of Moonflower Acupuncture to establish a wellness clinic offering free massage, acupuncture, and herbal medicine to everyone who needed it, especially for those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. During ThirstLab’s Workshop #4, Lena will be teaching yoga exercises that relate to surfing, and will share ideas about the therapeutic value of both forms of movement, situated in or alongside the ocean.