What history is embodied in natural materials and what emerges when we invite them to transform with us?
Join MOCA for a three-part workshop series responding to themes and practices in Kapwani Kiwanga’s exhibition Remediation. This workshop will take place on three consecutive Sundays in June — participants can register for individual sessions or for the entire series.
This series of hands-on workshops was collaboratively created by local community artists Morgan Zigler, Sue Cohen, Liz Lecky and Sarit Cantor as a way for participants to further participate with the themes and materials within Kiwanga’s art. These artists have selected specific materials for participants to engage with and learn from, including the mycelium of local fungi, differing forms of reeds that surround the waterways in our great lakes, rust, plants and cloth. All of these materials connect us to the earth and, through this series of workshops, each other.
In order to visually connect these workshops, graphic facilitator Sue Cohen will draw out the discussions, recording engagement through a visual storyboard that will build up through the workshops. Come and visit MOCA’s first floor during the week and see Cohen’s large canvas evolve through each workshop!
Visitors can register for one or more workshops based on interest and are not required to register for all three workshops. Each workshop has a limit of 12 participants and includes general admission to the museum ($14 for general public and free for MOCA Members).
Sunday, June 11, 2023
Join Morgan Zigler and Liz Lecky in the first of three workshops, where participants will examine and learn about the different kinds of fungi — how they grow and who has fostered that knowledge over time. Within this workshop, each participant will be asked to make a personal artwork in response to Kiwanga’s work, utilizing water soaked sisal fibre. Zigler will then transport each work home, sterilize the sisal, inoculate them with the chosen mushroom at home and bring them back into the gallery to be grown on display and to be picked up, if desired, by the participant at the end of the workshop series.
Sunday, June 18, 2023
As a witness to the struggle between indigenous and non-indigenous subspecies of Phragmites Australis (“common reed”) across Turtle Island, Liz Lecky invites participants to interact with both species of plants in a new context — as co-agents of remediation. Despite a problematic history and relationship, these plants remove toxins from the land. As we explore Kiwanga’s installations, participants are encouraged to engage with the hope inherent in Remediation. Participants will create individual and collective works of personal, emotional and social remediation by joining Lecky in probing the plants’ materiality through the seeds and stalks of both subspecies.
Sunday, June 25, 2023
Join Sarit Cantor in the final workshop of this series, where participants will learn a technique for dyeing fabric using plants and rust. This process will invite participants to consider their relationships with the materials: the plants, the cloth and the decay. The process of dyeing with rust and plants is akin to the practice of connecting with slowness, change and the cyclical nature of life. Participants will let the plants and the cloth lead a conversation about what it means to be in the right relationship with land and to be situated on the Dish with One Spoon Treaty territory while searching for belonging and repair.
About the Artists
Morgan Zigler (he/him) is an art installer in Toronto currently working at various museums and galleries, including MOCA, to support his full time practice of growing mushrooms and making community art. Zigler was approached by MOCA to assist in the installation of the sisal fibre, a prominent material in Kapwani Kiwanga’s exhibition. Given his 15-year background in community arts and his practice of connecting the future generation back to the natural world, MOCA has invited Zigler to curate a public workshop series to help promote further engagement with the themes and materials present within Kiwanga’s work. The initial invitation has grown into this series, with the seed of the idea based on the above question.
Liz Lecky (she/her/kwe) is Chippewa-Bodewodemi, of mixed Settler heritage, living on the traditional lands of the First Nations named in the Williams Treaties, and she is a member of Stoney Point First Nation (Aazhoodana). She is a community collaborator, mother, interdisciplinary artist and auntie. With almost 15 years in the not-for-profit sector, community-based arts have been an impactful space for her to explore themes of ancestry, land relationships, public spaces and Indigenous sovereignty with those around her.
Sarit Cantor (they/them) is a Jewish textile artist, queer ritualist, grief tender and community organizer who really loves plants. Their work is slow, care-ful and prayerful, it is a devotional practice to the unknown, to impermanence and to the intimacy found in between. Their art often takes the shape of quilts, ritual garments and relationships. Sarit currently lives in Tkaronto/Toronto where they write, teach, create, organize, pray, study, conspire and dream towards collective liberation.
Sue Cohen is primarily a painter, utilizing classical techniques with a focus on figurative imagery. Her practice also employs personal experience and storytelling as the building blocks for communal wisdom. Sue has worked as a community based artist for the past 27 years. Creating engagement experiences that explore human relationships with the environment, she focuses on nourishment through horticulture, wild crafting and community arts practices. Sue has been in training sessions led by Inclusion Press for many years and has honed her graphic facilitation skills, utilizing text and iconographic imagery to convey deep forms of communication, in turn ensuring rich discussions. Themes throughout Sue’s work focus on creative rejuvenation, communal arts practise, inclusion and finding the joy within the process.