Let’s be Mutuals: Create Care Packages for You or Someone You Love

What would you send someone who is far away? What would you send to someone who is new to a place? What would you send to someone you miss? A pressed flower, food, a photo, a stone smoothed by a home river?

In this two-part workshop as part of the RELATIONS Engagement Series, in response to the exhibition RELATIONS: Diapsora and Painting, artists Bianca Guimarães de Manuel, Qian Cheng, Desiree Nault, and ma̱lidi invite participants to co-create care packages to be kept or sent to loved ones. Care packages are a path into discussions of diaspora, ideas of home, and the vulnerability that comes with sharing and receiving. The packages will contain traces of everyone who participates, evidence of the rich ways people experience and demonstrate care.

We will meet online for our first session. Participants and facilitators will introduce themselves and decide on objects, mementos, and stories that will go into the care packages. We will focus on anti-capitalist ideas of care, and share personal experiences about the items chosen.”

“Our second session will be in person at Esker Foundation, where we assemble the care packages and continue our discussion of acts of care, especially as related to diaspora and the drive of maintaining connections to home. What would you send home in a care package? What would you hope to receive? What feels like belonging to you? How do you connect the land you are on now with the land you were on before?”

– Bianca, ma̱lidi, Qian, and Desiree.

*Note: No experience or supplies are necessary. Bianca, ma̱lidi, Qian, and Desiree will pick up all of the care package materials needed for you prior to our in-person meeting.

Participants need to be able to attend both the online and in-person sessions:

  • Session 1: Sunday 24 October from 2pm- 4pm (online)
  • Session 2: Saturday 30 October from 2pm- 5pm (in-person, at Esker Foundation)

About the artists:

Bianca Guimarães de Manuel está no in-between Brazil and Canada. She is uma Latinx scenographer, performance designer and artist-researcher interésted in como creation happens between people and things. Bianca believes que scenic elements podem interrogate the body, and people can interrogate spaçe, destabilizing power relationships of language, meaning and status cuó. Bianca is trained in the MO_AND method (Brazil), which is focused on creative practice at the intersection between ethics, aesthetics and politics, and has an MFA in Technical Theatre from the University of Calgary.

Qian Cheng is a Chinese-Canadian emerging artist and organizer. Cheng is interested in weaving different frameworks of interconnectivity and dreaming of community practices that reflect a better sense of wellness; using art as a tool to create platforms for different publics and communities. She has recently exhibited works at The New Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, and Number 3 Gallery and is currently co-developing a Time Traveling manual with a group of Time Travelers. ⁠⁠

Desiree Nault is the descendent of mostly French settlers who, in the search for work and belonging, have lived in many treaty territories and unceded lands on Turtle Island. After living in Treaty 7 for most of her life, her favourite smell is the sweet smell of terpenes released by conifers on hot summer days in the foothills. She is grateful for all of the relationships grown throughout her time as a student at the Alberta University of the Arts and in her role as Artistic Director of Mountain Standard Time Performative Art.

ma̱lidi (Mercedes Webb) is a writer of mixed ancestry including, Haida (Kunn janaas), Kwakwaka’wakw (Mama̱liliḵa̱la), living as a guest on Treaty 7 Territory. Their writing aims to inform readers and generate interest in the ways art and writing are intrinsically intertwined with the social contexts we are living through and how that informs the futures we may create. Webb’s vocals were included on the vinyl from Rita McKeough: Works, and were the recipient of the 2019 Canadian Art Writing Prize. They have their BA in Art History and Communications with Distinction from University of Calgary.

What we need to know to welcome you: Let us know what you need! (translation, accessibility needs). In addition to English, our team can speak the following languages: Mandarin and Brazilian Portuguese. Contact: [email protected] or call 403-930-2490.

October 24th, 2021 at 2-5pm, October 30th, 2021 at 2-5pm