"The Forest Project"
"Les Oiseaux exotiques"
The Temporary Environmental Installation:
K-5 to grade 3 (Cycle 1)
A simple project incorporating sculpture, land and language was designed for the Cycle1 students. The concept originated from an environmental installation created in collaboration with playright, Vivienne Laxdal for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in March, 1998 - "La Forêt raciste - The Racist Forest." Most of the children had seen this outdoor art piece in the village Peace Park. The whole school had been introduced to the processes of developing and creating The Racist Forest in their first visit to the project studio.
From that project, the two artists donated all the cut-offs of colourful corrugated plastic board. During their own class time, with their teachers' help, the young students bound these cut-offs into whimsical sculptural forms. They then embellished them with text and imagery as part of their French courses. Teachers selected the most suitable site for the installation to take place and the artist returned to help each class attach their pieces to the budding trees, creating a huge art piece which one teacher named "Les Oiseaux exotiques".
On May 25th 1998, the day of the West Québec School Board Cross Country Run, students, teachers and parents from schools all over West Québec ran or walked through the school's forest, where the trees were impressively adorned with the cycle one creations.