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Over two weeks in September - October 2019, I foraged wild plants in urban spaces within the Toronto and GTA to dye wool and silk with. I researched seasonal colours by foraging and dyeing with regionally-harvested plants: imbuing a sense of place into my materials and fostering connections with the urban spaces, land, and local communities during the process. The growing season is slightly extended in Toronto (compared to Northwestern Ontario) allowing me to forage: Goldenrod flowers and stems, Tansy flowers and stems, Wild Carrot flowers and stems, Willow leaves/twigs, Birch leaves/twigs, Horsetail fronds, Sumac leaves, White Walnut leaves, Elm leaves and twigs, Acorns, Black Oak leaves and twigs, and wild grapes from various spaces (parks, greenspaces, walking trails, sidewalks, the Gardener Expressway) within the GTA (Etobicoke to Scarborough, and Ward's Island Toronto). Jumblies manager Sam Egan also planted coreopsis, hibiscus, and yarrow in early summer for use during my residency. Using these plants and modifiers I achieved 33 different colours on wool for weaving a Toronto "Dye Map" in the near future.
During this residency, I enjoyed the opportunity to invite others into my practice by facilitating community workshops hosted by Jumblies Theatre and Arts: foraging plants ethically from urban environments; preparing fibres for dyeing; dyeing natural fibres with local colours, and “mapping” the dye-plant locations throughout the Toronto area. As my work progresses, relationship-building: both with the land in which I harvest plant materials, and with the communities in which I create, becomes a central theme in the creative process.
I felt supported during the entirety of my residency and couldn't have asked for a better work space, support staff and residence. Thank you Jumblies Theatre and Arts!
I attended this residency with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Jumblies Theatre and Arts.