On June 3, 2016, Jill Didur collaborated with artist Caroline Alexander on a performative site-specific installation, “Layers of Landscape,” displayed in connection with the Grey Nuns’ garden event, “’Un paradis sans pommiers’ Le jardins des Soeurs Grises.”
Together with Drs. Cynthia Hammond and Shauna Janssen, and with a graduate Research Assistant, Didur helped to consult and conceptualize the event in order to explore the archive associated with working gardens of the Grey Nuns.
“Layers of Landscape” was a collaborative research creation piece between Didur and Alexander. The installation was comprised of twenty-five lanterns installed in the garden that hosted a different assemblage of images including photographs and documents associated with the archive, and a selection of images of the indigenous precolonial plant life from the Codex Canadensis, a manuscript by Louis Nicolas, a Jesuit missionary who lived in New France from 1664 to 1667 and visited Ville Marie/Hochelaga. Installed in the garden for the event on June 3, the project offered visitors an invitation to engage with the history of the Grey Nuns’ labour in the garden as a feminist avowal of women’s work, while at the same time acknowledging visually that this history is part of the colonial and colonizing history of the area.
More information on this event: