Lorraine Beaulieu holds a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Arts from Université du Québec in Trois-Rivières and has begun a Master’s Degree program in Visual Arts at Université Laval. She has participated in several solo and group exhibitions, with her artistic practice centering on the theme of the environment. In 2003, she created and co- produced with another artist four floating sculptures, a work entitled Haro sur la rivière. More than 30,000 empty water bottles were collected thanks to the participation of communities living alongside the Saint-Maurice River. Following this experience, the artist was invited in 2005 by the community of the small French town of Clamecy to create a sculpture intended to float on the Yonne River. The work entitled Haro sur l’Yonne, which contained more than 4,000 large-format empty water bottles, was created with the participation of the residents of this community. In 2007, the artist created, together with students, La Mappeaumonde, a world map containing approximately 2,500 empty water bottles. These empty bottles were then recovered and placed in a recycling bin. In these works, the artist has sought to intercept the water bottles during their life cycle in order to allow them to deliver their messages: This trash contains water, an essential element for the survival of humans. The water bottle, a symbol of our consumer society, is used by Lorraine Beaulieu as a basic element of her visual language. An artistic residency in the Antarctica in 2007 made the artist acutely aware of the beauty of these settings and the consequences of climate change on the melting of the icebergs and on the world’s drinking water supply.
Depending on the level of the group and the size of the chosen work, the artist proposes creating a world map using empty water bottles or caps. These assemblages will be held together with hot glue and then set on a plywood base to form a big world map measuring four feet by eight feet. A piece of fabric or cardboard of variable size could also be used as a support. The activity starts three or four weeks prior to the artist’s visit to the classroom. During this period, students and teachers collect empty water bottles. Approximately 1,500 bottles will be needed. Soliciting the students’ participation in obtaining the bottles helps to promote the group’s awareness about the theme of water, the dangers that threaten water around the world and the economic stakes associated with its commercialization. The artist can complete the collection of empty bottles, if necessary.
The world map can be made in different parts (continents) by small groups of students. The parts will then be assembled to form the world map. Teams can also be put in charge of various tasks: sorting the bottles by category according to size and colour, drawing the world map on paper in order to determine the size of each part of the world, etc. The gluing step can be carried out by older students, by the teacher or by the artist, depending on the age group and according to the support that has been chosen (cardboard, fabric, plywood). A smaller world map could be produced on cardboard, on to which the caps would then be glued. It is also possible to create a world map using caps glued to a big piece of blue fabric, which would then be hung on the wall. The varied colours of the caps would indicate the different parts of the world. In addition to addressing geographical notions, this collective work will promote a feeling of belonging to the community on the part of participants while bringing them together around the theme of water in the world.
The workshop requires hot glue at a cost of approximately $20 per day of guided activities.
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