Mapping Our Stories
with Sherry Guppy
September 18 – 28, 2023
See event flyer below!
Sherry will share her body mapping process for individual story creation using drawing, painting, and writing. Her creative process is accessible to all ages, abilities and learning styles. The life-sized body maps will come together to create a large-scale installation transforming the Ground Floor studio into a vibrant, collaborative creative environment.
Sherry Guppy is a multidisciplinary artist from Northeastern Ontario. Through large-scale installation, painting, printmaking, and textile, her work incorporates traditional and contemporary storytelling. Her passion for creating community-engaged processes is multi-faceted, leading to community based-research methodologies, set design, interactive installations, and arts education. She studied studio arts at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, holds an undergraduate degree in sociology and is completing a Master of Arts in History. She has collaborated with Aanmitaagzi Storymakers as a lead visual artist throughout the last decade on productions such as: The Light Within Us All, All My R(el)ations, Where Does Art Begin, When Will You Rage, Dances of Resistance, and Serpent People. She has also worked and toured with Aanmitaagzi and Spiderwoman Theatre in productions such as Material Witness. In 2019 she designed the body mapping installation for the set design of Spider Woman’s Misdemeanor Dream. She works in Aanmitaagzi’s Summer Arts Program at Big Medicine Studio, creating seasonal ensemble theatre works. Sherry has also worked with Jumblies, including on the design team for ‘What Was My Backyard’?
Body mapping workshops:
Wednesday September 20, 1-5 pm – general public
Saturday September 23, 1-5 pm – kids only
Wednesday September 27, 5:30-8:30 pm – general public
Movement workshops with Michelle Silagy:
Tuesday September 19, 4-5:30 pm
Tuesday September 26, 4-5:30 pm
Exhibition & Reception:
Thursday September 28, 6-8 pm
All events are free, no experience required and all materials are provided. Please dress comfortably in clothes you don’t mind getting dirty!
Reth aur Reghistan
with Nimra and Manahil Bandukwala
June 5 – 17, 2023
Two sisters, curious to learn about the folklore from Karachi and Sindh province in Pakistan, launched a research project and explored these stories through poetry and sculpture. Through foraged and reclaimed materials, such as pieces from their dadi’s saari, beads from a broken tasbeeh, dried flowers, and shells, they bring to life characters and scenes from these ancestral tales. They embrace memory as their creative medium and use pieces from the past to tell stories of the present.
Mannat منّت is a word with Persian and Sanskrit roots that roughly signifies a wish, intention, or hope in the Urdu language. It is a coloured fabric that connects the past to the future. It is a symbolic gesture of exchange that involves tying colourful strips of cloth to trees near sacred places of Sindh. This residency shares folklore from Sindh, Pakistan through the theme of mannat. Growing up in Karachi, the sisters created imaginary worlds using materials that their mother and grandmother saved for them. Years later, embracing their childhood play, they created miniature scenes and sculptures from the same materials.
In these two weeks, they use sari fabric from their grandmother, from her saris that had become too worn to wear, to adorn women from folktales. Wedding invitations that were carefully saved in the drawers of an antique letter-writing desk in the dining room in Karachi turn into skin and clothes of characters in our workshops. Seeds and dried twigs foraged from hikes in Ontario form supernatural creatures. Each material is lovingly transformed into a story, a scene, and a question for us and future generations.
blue skies, red earth & tall pines
with Sharada Eswar
May 1-12, 2023
blue skies, red earth & tall pines is a multi-disciplinary, intergenerational project that explores stories, literal and metaphorical, about the various borders people cross throughout their lives. Through artist facilitated workshops in storytelling, visual arts, music and other artistic disciplines, community members will bring the theme of borders and crossings to life with the recognition that borders can not only be geographic, but also linguistic, religious, racial, emotional, psychological and cultural.
Join us for two public workshops in May! Free and no experience necessary. Workshops take place at the Ground Floor, 132 Fort York Blvd.
Comic Making Workshop, Tuesday May 2, 4-6 pm
Community members are invited to share their stories and experiences with crossing borders – geographical, linguistic, spiritual and personal. We will use drawings, prompts, collage and non-traditional storytelling in a relaxed and conversational workshop.
Mapping Workshop, Tuesday May 9, 4-6 pm
A fun and creative workshop that facilitates the deconstruction of the world map, as presented to us and the construction of a collective story about borders and border crossings and experiences.
An Almanac of Narrow Winds
with Lisa Hirmer
October 12th – 20th, 2022
How well do you know the wind at your doorstep? Not the big wind of weather reports, blowing this direction at so many kilometres per hour, but the wind you walk through everyday, the one that brings you leaves from across the street, and tugs at your clothes. In this era of scary climate change news and quick weather notifications, we are going to take the time to get to know the wind just outside Jumblies’ doors. Led by artist Lisa Hirmer, we will be paying attention to the way the wind moves, how it dances and curls around. We will use these observations to make wind chimes and wind catchers – to record the movement of wind and the shape of wind.
Photos by Rakefet Arieli, Adrienne Marcus Raja and Lisa Hirmer.
Make, Do and Mend: A Social Fabric Residency
with artist Miranda Bouchard
April 26th – May 7th, 2022
(a play on “make do and mend’, a slogan from WW2 Britain)
Join Miranda Bouchard, Artistic Director of Thinking Rock Community Arts,for Make, Do and Mend, a community arts residency hosted by Jumblies Theatre + Arts!
We’ll learn some mending skills, we’ll co-create an artwork made of UFO’s (unfinished objects), and we’ll collaborate on a window display of our work at the Ground Floor. We’ll be joined by artists and friends who’ll weave inspired song and movement into our time together.
Together we’ll reflect on mending – how it’s done and what it means – through hands-on activities and creative conversations. We’ll centre actions of repair – mending, patching, darning and stitching – as we slow down, connect and consider how mending sustains people and the planet. Good things happen when we pause, reflect, get to know one another, and collectively weave new ways to craft community!
Miranda Bouchard is an artist, curator and arts manager who brings 14 years’ experience in non-profit arts and culture to her role as Artistic Director at Thinking Rock Community Arts. Her roots and residence in the Algoma District, Northern Ontario inform her focus on craft-based practices, intergenerational skill-sharing, projects unfolding in rural settings and realized through sustained dialogue and exchange. Miranda studied art, art history, nonprofit management and community economic & social development at the University of Guelph, Ryerson University and Algoma University.
Guest Artist: Arlette Ngung is a textile artist and pattern maker, inspired by tradition and sustainability. She holds a degree in Fashion Design/Pattern making from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and a Certificate in CAD from Formamod, Paris, France. Arlette focuses on the preservation and reinterpretation of traditional African textiles. She has been profiled with CBC Radio Canada and Selvedge Magazine UK for her vegan approach to art.
Ecotones: Exploring In-Between Places
with Megan Spencer
November 8th – 20th, 2021
Excerpt from Megan Spencer:
I would like to work with in-between and transitional spaces on the land.
Where I live, in the rural Ottawa Valley, this means hedgerows, shorelines, field meeting forest, as well as dawn and dusk.
In ecological terms, these liminal spaces are known as ‘ecotones’; a greater range of plants are found there, and they tend to be gathering places for birds and wildlife.
I would like to explore what these spaces mean in an urban context, where nature meets concrete: what they bring up and what they see and feel there. From participants’ observations, words, paintings and drawings we will create and animate a world of images through two-dimensional stop-motion video.
Megan Spencer is a multimedia artist, currently working mostly in pen and ink, shadow puppetry and stop motion. She lives with the land on unceded Algonquin Territory, growing food and herbs, watching bugs and hanging out with her kids. With Ottawa Valley Creative Arts, she has lead and participated in many community art projects; most recently in 2019 an outdoor mosaic mural, conceived and created by local youth. http://meganspencer.ca/
Stream of Consciousness
with Betty Carpick
October 4th – 16th, 2021
“Stream of Consciousness” will help elevate the interconnectivity of the biosphere by exploring story and metaphor of lost Indigenous waterways in Toronto. A lengthy fabric “stream” with participant handprints will be stitched, marked with artisanal inks, and sewn together with suture stitch. On Saturday, October 16, 2021 a concluding performative art piece will amplify the voices of water, nature, Indigenous peoples, histories, and more.
From Betty Carpick:
The community-invigorated project, “Stream of Consciousness” will explore story and metaphor of lost waterways in a Toronto context. Lost waterways can be real and symbolic as the natural resources of conquered lands experience and continue to experience vandalization.
When I arrive in Toronto, I’ll walk the creek using the Anthropocene Immersion, Unearthing Lost Taddle Creek audio walk and collect impressions, feelings, plants, debris, and ephemera enroute. Walking has always been a part of my aesthetic experience. I’ll share how my Taddle Creek walk generates relationships and the Stream of Consciousness project (both incidentally and by design).
During the residency, we’ll create a lengthy fabric “stream” with watercolour pencil outlines of participants’ handprints, stitched with blue and red embroidery thread, sponge-marked with artisanal inks, and sewn together with the running whip stitch which is used to mend sutures. People can choose to make handprints of their family and friends, cut them out, and outline the handprint templates on the stream so that, in essence, there are many people holding the intention of the project.
I make and use artisanal inks as a way to view water as a collective responsibility through a connection to plants that grow in distinctive ecosystems. Different parts of plants have been used since ancient times for medicines, dyes, functional items, construction, and more. Regardless of locale, the entire wild plant trajectory – from identification, understanding, gathering, and use – invites deep listening and grace. I’m working on one ink with plants indigenous to Turtle Island, and one ink with plants to represent settler/colonialists.
I hope the stream will finally be hung on spruce roots and monofilament trapezes so there’s a sense of undulation and movement.
For the virtual work with the Gather Round Singers we’ll create a soundscape loop for the performance as a way to give ephemeral voice to water, nature, Indigenous peoples, histories.
I’ll use the windows at Jumblies to create an ongoing dialogue with the work in process of the project.
For the concluding Toronto performance on Saturday, October 16, the stream will either be fed into a clear vessel filled with water (potentially from the pond at Wychwood Park) so that the inks and markings will bleed or fed into the clear water, and a “sludge” ink to represent contamination will be poured on top.
Through the residency period, as I work solo as well as with people of different ages, backgrounds, and skills, the project may adapt slightly with intentions as well as health and safety protocols.
Betty Carpick an interdisciplinary artist and educator. Much of her work looks at social, cultural, and environmental issues in both serious and playful ways. She engages in creativity with community of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds as a metaphor to speak to the fragility, strength, and transitory state of our lives and surroundings. Betty is Cree and Ukrainian from Northern Manitoba. She lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario.