About Wendy Agnew, PhD
Wendy with mentor ...
If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls. - Jane Goodall
Wendy was bitten by wanderlust at an early age when she traveled with her Uncle Russ to rehabilitate angst-ridden racehorses across the province of Saskatchewan. As a result, her work expands from a humane and humanitarian core that honours sentience in nature. She journeyed from Agios Nikolaos, Crete, overland to Timbuktu, arriving in London, England, where she managed community arts-based Inter-Action’s inner city farm (documented in A Chronicle of Stumbles). Her visual eco-literacy projects (Maputo, Toronto, Kitchener) position imagination as pre-requisite to earth-aware epistemologies (documented in The Universe is a Horse). In 2004 she was invited to Iran, where, over a period of seven years, she helped found and develop Tehran’s first Montessori school. This work features practical, emergent and child-centred learning as germinal to democracy, peace, and civic agency.
Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion. - Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi
Wendy’s work with children and adolescents is predicated on the play of active semiotic engagement with environment. Her long term, earth-aware initiatives include Project Centaur: Innovations in inter-species, inter-age mentoring programs, Soir Blanche: Multi-media eco-arts Mardi Gras, Muralizing From Wall to Bridge: Eco-visual dialogues between children, nature, and the University of Toronto, Metamorphosis: Site-specific video production on the Oak Ridges Moraine , From There to Retirement: A social history of crises through the arts and the aged, The Ancestor Project: Living history through family story, The Greats: Dramatized vignettes of those who change the world, Transforming Through Shakespeare: Site-Specific, student-based video productions , The Tree of Ideals: A Permanent and Evolving Installation celebrating student's commitment to sustainable futures, and Earth Dialogues: An International Round Square School collaboration, to name but a few cross-cultural, land-and-memory based programs.
Transformation happens at the margins of self, society, and environment. Wendy’s passion is to voice the exchange between old worlds and new – whether facilitating a children’s lobby for the reinstatement of the Wild Horse and Burro Act, leading theatre professionals and educators in silent improvisations with wilderness , or exploring the interface between quantum physics, chaos theory, and eco-literacy (The University is a Horse: Autopoietic Education for Technoprosaic Times).
She has accepted peer requests to speak at and present masters' workshop on Embodied Learning for: The International Conference in Holistic Learning; Tehran's Shahid Mahdavi Educational Complex’s symposium on alternative pedagogy; the North American Montessori Teacher Association’s Orientation to Adolescent Studies; the University of Toronto’s Dean’s Graduate Student Research Conference, Bermuda's Somersfield Academy Conference on Embodied Learning, and Canadian Association of Montessori Teacher’s International Conferences . Her series of workshops and speaking engagements are specifically designed to stimulate frontiers of change while deepening principles of conservation.
Wendy lives close to Luther Marsh, in Damascus, Ontario. She is a founding member and vice president of The Damascus Lake Trail Association (formerly Friends of Luther Marsh)