Home Canning is a workshop designed by artist Raphaëlle de Groot in collaboration with DHC/ART Education. It is offered in conjunction with the exhibition L’OFFRE, which runs from October 5 2017 to March 11 2018.
Starting with a simple and playful proposition—to realize an “artistic canning”—, Home Canning echoes notions in L’OFFRE, such as exchange, preservation and shared experience. Canning is used to preserve food that, through hermetic sealing, becomes non-perishable. This technique will be used in the workshop to formulate a thought destined for someone unknown by arranging found materials.
The workshop begins with participants gathering material prior to their arrival at DHC/ART. They will collect odds and ends found in their environment, whether inside (at home, at work, at school…) or outside (at their home base or on their way to DHC/ART).
During the workshop, participants are invited to investigate the nature, the significance and the impact of the elements that they brought. What do they represent or evoke? A written trace will be generated from their reflection and shared with Raphaëlle de Groot: from Europe, she will compile the answers and send back graphic and textual elements to be integrated into the workshop. Participants will then select one of their findings: the most significant, interesting or curious. Other elements found but not selected for canning will be integrated into a common pile that will fluctuate over the given workshops.
The initial selected object will become the starting point for a can that will be produced with a manual can sealer. In this can, participants will add other elements chosen from the common pile to the initial object, composing an ensemble of fragments, traces or ingredients. An unknown recipient of the can could, should they choose to open it, imagine a thought, a narrative or a landscape, or even a prescription for a better world.
Raphaëlle de Groot’s artistic practice is process-oriented and generally anchored to living or working environments. It engages participants and communities in the production of traces and narratives, revealing the out of scope elements of human experience, non-visible domains, often forgotten or neglected. Developed from encounters, collaborations, gatherings and other varied actions, her projects are open and exploratory. The ensuing works encompass drawing, photography and video as well as installation and performance. Recently, as part of the event Repères2017 | LandMarks2017, she presented Subsistances – Inniun, a multi-part project stemming from the territory of Minganie in Moyenne-Côte-Nord and, above all, her exchanges with the indigenous and non-indigenous peoples living there. Raphaëlle de Groot holds a masters degree in visual and media arts from Université du Québec à Montréal (2007). Her works have been exhibited in North America, South America and Europe since 1997. She has received multiple distinctions including the Sobey Art Award in 2012.
Photo credit: Léo Harvey-Côté