- AHUNTSIC -
Août 2015 - Janvier 2016
@ Studio St-Sulpice
Quilted/Quartier - Ahuntsic
The neighbourhood of Ahuntsic is found on the northern most part of the island of Montréal. It is bordered by the Rivière-des-Prairies to the north, St-Michel and Papineau to the east, autoroute 40 to the south, and autoroute 15 to the west.
The area was settled by the St-Sulpicians who founded a fort there. A village developed around this fort in the late 19th century, and was eventually annexed by the city of Montréal in 1916. Today it is still a very quiet residential neighbourhood for the most part, with some industrial warehouse spaces to the west. It has become a diverse neighbourhood, with new Canadian families coming together from regions around the world to live side-by-side.
For the Ahuntsic quilt, I was invited to collaborate with the Studio D'art St-Sulpice. This art hive, located in an HLM in Ahuntsic, is a space that belongs to the children of the neighbourhood. As such, most of the participants of this quilt were under the age of 14, and it was a joy to see their neighbourhood through their eyes as we stitched and painted textile representations of their stomping grounds. While we worked, they shared tales of traveling to their parents' home countries, and so this neighbourhood quilt came to encompass many origin stories of how these children (and their adults) came to call this specific geography "home".
The invitation to bring this collaboration to the neighbourhood brought me further north than I had been on the island previously. I spent time that summer wandering the streets of the neighbourhood and riding my bike through the bike path that follows the river.
In this quilt you will see nods to the fashion district that is found in the warehouses to the west of the neighbourhood, of the very expansive cemetery in the centre, of bike rides and school playgrounds, homes and other images of the every day life of a child.