Clay is
earth

Clay is a
teacher

Clay is
magical

Welcome to Footsteps!

I’m visual artist Alexandra Iorgu. For the next three months, we’re going to explore the land where we live, the people who walked the land before us, the magic of clay, and the power of nature!

Art, Nature, and Community

Footsteps is a chance to connect with art, nature, and those who have come before us. Youth, families, and elders living in the Etobicoke  area of Toronto can participate. Participants who identify as members of equity seeking groups are particularly encouraged to apply. Let’s co-create!

Promise yourself to take care of the land in future. It’s not about fun. It’s about symbolizing your journey. You choose how you make that journey.

Our collective journey today will impact the future generations who will call Etobicoke their home.

Collaborative and community-based, Footsteps wants you to feel heard, seen, and at home. 

Sign up now!

Fill out this form to participate. I can’t wait to see what we make together!

Stay up-to-date by following Footsteps on Instagram @naturaiorgu #footstepsforfuture. I can’t wait to see what we make together!

How the project works

Get supplies delivered at your door.

Each kit has 5kg of clay, a canvas cloth to work on, a wooden tool, and a pack of Forest Edge Native Seeds. Materials will be carefully prepared following safe physical distancing practices and delivered via contact-free drop-off. Sign up soon! Registration opens June 21st and is limited to up to 200 families residing in the Etobicoke area.

Learn about the land where you live.

Chief Stacey LaForme from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation will host a storytelling session about his nation and its relationship to the land. He is gifting us his poem, Sacred Trust, and he encourages us to restore our connection to the land and to protect it. Watch Here

Explore the properties of clay. 

Clay has been part of human culture for thousands of years! From finding the right tools to making a clay-slip, I will show you how to explore this enduring material. Watch the videos at your own pace and sculpt in the safety of your own home! Use half of your clay to experiment and play.

How to Videos

In whose footsteps are you walking?  

Use your second piece of clay to craft a shoe. Before transforming the clay, it is helpful to have sketches or photos of the shoe you are trying to recreate or invent.  The final product will be a clay shoe embedded with native seeds. 

Be part of a communal work of art!

Take your shoe and return it to a special place where it can grow. Maybe your local ravine! Or a river! Left to decompose throughout the fall and winter, the seeds will then grow anew the following spring. This new growth will show nature’s ability to restore itself despite our human impact. Together, we can help nature regain its strength.

Share your stories.

Throughout the process, I invite you to take pictures, document what you make, and share your migration story with @naturaiorgu. In whose footsteps are you walking? What is your goal for the future? We want to know.

The Project Team

Alexandra Iorgu is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator. She uses drawing and clay to connect families with art and nature. Her projects have been bringing Toronto’s communities together through co-creation for over ten years.

Guest Chief Stacey Laforme, from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, is acting as a friend of the project, providing inspiration for its artistic content and sharing stories about the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Photographer Maira Ribeiro will document the process by taking portraits of the participants holding their sculptures. She will do the photoshoot from a safe physical distance.

Sculptor David Salazar will work together with his children to show you how to sculpt a shoe using pinching, pulling, and removing clay to achieve a desired shape.

Artist and UX/experience designer Erica Brisson will help tell the story of the project through words, forms, and images.

Produced with support from the Toronto Arts Council. #poweredbyTAC 

The Fine Print

*Up to 200 families will receive supplies to make a sculpture. Protective equipment will be used when handling and dropping off the supplies, in strict accordance with physical distancing directives. Each kit includes a 5kg package of clay custom-produced for this project, a selection of native seeds from Native Forest Edge, a cutting tool, and a cloth for working on. Drop-off service is limited to the area  of Etobicoke. A selection of native seeds will also be mailed to up to 100 additional interested participants who have clay at home and who want to participate. Interested participants must be located in the Greater Toronto Area.