Territories of Dreams
Franco-Albertan artists Patricia Lortie and Sabine Lecorre-Moore, of the Collective Conversation, developed Territories of Dreams, a project that was selected as part of Dialogues: Encounters with Riopelle’s Oeuvre from Sea to Sea. The artists were honoured to accomplish this project alongside the Foundation Jean Paul Riopelle and its partner, Culture pour tous. On the eve of the celebrations surrounding the centenary of the Canadian artist Jean Paul Riopelle, the artists are part of a major pan-Canadian cultural mediation project made possible by Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation and the financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The Territories of Dreams project is a temporary and participatory art installation anchored in nature and currently on display at KOAC. The two artists assembled a crochet tapestry created by a group of seniors from Bowness community*, an Indigenous student and a school principal, to tie together the dreams of Alberta’s Francophone, Indigenous and Anglophone communities. This spring, they traveled from northern to southern Alberta to visit five schools** where, to collect students’ dreams, they offered writing-on-fabric workshops.
The Collective Conversation worked under the guidance of Elder Harley Crowshoe, a respected and well-known First Nations mediator. Elder Harley Crowshoe is of Blackfoot ancestry from southern Alberta. In 1997, he was inducted as an honorary chief of the Piikani Nation. In the past, he has worked for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and founded an on-reserve policing model that focused on community-based policing and delivered culturally safe and responsive police services on his reserve. Currently, he sits on the National Advisory Committee on Missing Children from Residential Schools and Unmarked Graves.
In response to the Foundation Riopelle’s call to “move closer to nature”, Lortie and Lecorre-Moore installed the tapestry on a circular wooden structure, th and the work has been exhibited since June in the sculpture park here at KOAC. An opening event was held in June, and the The Collective Conversation and KOAC invited the public to add their own dreams to the Territories of Dreams installation. There is still time to come and experience the installation for yourself and contribute your dreams, as the work will be in place at KOAC until September 30.
*The association Creating Strong Families and Communities in Calgary (CARYA) partnered with the project by bringing together a Calgarian senior citizen group. They shared their skills by creating the project’s crochet panels.
**The Alberta school partners are: La Vérendrye Francophone School in Lethbridge, De la Source in Calgary, Boréale in Fort McMurray, West Island College in Calgary and Kapawe’no Nêhiyawak school in Grouard, Alberta.