Stories of Place

This hands-on workshop is informed by psychogeography, and current contemporary artistic practices deeply grounded in the materialities of place. Participants will be invited to forage some leaves, wilted flowers, twigs, small found objects, domestic materials found in their own environment. In this workshop, we think of engaging in the Stories of place; a different kind of mapping, a way of telling the stories of your place through the colors of soil or a local flower, inserting drips of the black tea of coffee that you love, transferring the colors of a wilted leaf that you found on the grounds where you live. As Anishinaabe (Odawa) artist Barry Ace has shown in an earlier series of works, this mixed media mode of mapping, might not provide the conventional directions, yet the artistic process the mapping become affective, connected to memories, identity, the development of a sense of place. It can also be deeply political in its affirmation of a deep history and connection to Land. 

Before the workshop participants are invited to forage (gather with sustainability in mind) some leaves, wilted flowers, small twigs, found objects or relevant photographs for the collage, basic paints, drawing pencils, glue stick, a solid background (I love a nice heavy watercolor paper but cardboard or thick 4-ply can also be fine), your favorite spices or herb, a few drops of walnut or a siccative oil, intense teas or coffee. 

To Bring/Important Notes

Dear participants,

In the spirit of contemporary art practices and connecting to place – whatever place means for you, this online workshop will ask you to see the rich potential in materials that you can find in your everyday environment. Many substitutions are possible!

This list is inviting one to notice the potential of everyday materials that you can bring together to tell a story of place. As a way to prepare for the workshop, I invite you to looks around your place, dig into the recycling bin, the pantry, open those forgotten drawers of “stuff”, find a piece of local map, an old photograph that you can photocopy, notice what’s out there during walks such as withered flowers and some leaves, and start gathering. In this project, the materials will be transformed, fragmented, glued or sewn; please consider this when working with original photographs or personal collage elements.

Here are some ideas:
No need to get everything, these are only suggestions!
  Look around your place of work or living to find materials meaningful to you.


Glue stick – white glue
 Tape - a range of small transparent, general use masking tape to packing tape. Clear tape is excellent to do a simple photo transfer technique.
 Sewing or embroidery threads & needles
 Yarn – any left over, color, length - twine
 Stapler - Soft metal wire


Range of pencils – soft (B series) - any type of marker (whatever you have at home)
 Some oil pastels or wax crayons – pencil crayons
 Paints – whatever you have at home
 Dry pigments – start drying some mint/flower leaves or herbs to grind into fine powder
 Withered flower petals, mint, or any greens
 Walnut oil or liquid coconut oil [you won’t need much, small quantity]
 Strong coffee or tea – a bit of red wine, beet juice
 [be inspired by what you have – only very small quantities are needed)
 Any of the ground spices you like..
 A bit of soil from a meaningful place



Scissors - Cutting knife, Exacto knife
 Hole puncher – Ruler
 Small paintbrushes…you can also make your own mark making tools!

Would be great if you could get one sheet of heavy mixed media paper (thick enough to support a liquid medium] or watercolor paper – 9 x 12, or 11 x 15 or whatever you have!
 An interesting substitute can be a strong piece of cardboard, or thick paper board or thin wood board


Fragments of local maps
 Fragments of newspaper articles – personal notes, poetry
 Second hand bits of paper doilies, invitations, construction paper, an old card…
 Photocopies of original photographs
 Cut outs from magazines
Foraged local leaves, a small twig a seed...
 Small objects found in drawers; a bit of fabric, ribbon, an old button, fragments from a poster announcing a local event, a grocery list written by hand, typed or hand written notes for a lesson plan idea, some doodles found on a scrap piece of paper, a rubbing made to capture the textures of tree bark or local marker, an old bus or theatre ticket that’s lying around, etc.



Some water – I suggest a couple of containers
 Something to wipe and clean…I always spill something!

 I very much look forward to be exploring with you
 and telling differently some “Stories of Place”
 Marie-France Berard


1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

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  • Marie-France Berard