Penpals / Relations épistolaires 2e édition

The artists

Mycelium is an independent researcher & artist who plays with cheap/low/dirt art. It dabbles in living arts & radio, as part of the Audio Smut collective on CKUT. It focuses primarily on magic, ecosexuality & childhood sexual abuse (CSA), notably creating a nature retreat by and for queer & trans survivors of CSA (Lichen Project) in collaboration with ME Louis, a dramatherapist.

Aniela Piasecka

My practice spans dance for galleries, film, digital technologies, unconventional performance spaces and theatres; it also includes facilitation and teaching and is nearly always collaborative. Using the notion of psychogeography as a point of departure, works often delve into the relationality between bodies and the space/s they occupy, finding inspiration within the realm of crip queer feminist studies to deepen intentions.

I am currently working as Movement Director for REIN (an immersive queer erotic film directed by Leonie Rae Gasson), teaching inclusive and community movement classes, developing a residency with Inverclyde Culture Collective working with members of the public living with chronic pain and planning new work for 2023 with STASIS a long-term collaborative project now in its 8th year of existence.

Marie Claire Forté

The relational, experiential, and experimental potential of dance inspires me. I dance, choreograph, write, translate, and teach. I am the mother of Imogen Keith whose presence is a force coursing through me. I create work, including the recent video installation Mères et mouvements d’enfants presented in 2022 at the Foreman Gallery in partnership with Sursaut and the Centennial Theatre in Sherbooke, with the curator and artist Camila Vásquez. I work with artists whom I love, recently Catherine Lalonde, Louise Bédard, Katie Ward and PME-ART. I was Dancer in residence at l’Agora de la danse from 2017 to 2019. In 2016, my friend Sophie Bélair Clément and I created the exhibition project and bilingual publication – I’d rather something ambiguous. Mais précis à la fois. at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery. From 2004 to 2008, I danced at the now-defunct Le Groupe Dance Lab in Ottawa, training daily with Peter Boneham.

Laura Gonzalez

I am an artist and writer. I create intimate performances that question histories and systems around mental health, through psychoanalysis. I have just finished writing a book about the hysteric. I am also a yoga teacher and specialise in breath practices that lead to physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. 

I want to explore presence in an expanded letter form and question whether holding and being held by another in this way can enhance both a sense of being and of wellness. How much of myself can I send to a pen pal? How can I hold someone in distance? How can I make absence be presence? How can a letter and its expanded form heal? Through this exploration, I am hoping we can challenge current discourses around self-care as something an individual is asked to do for themselves and get a better understanding of our connection.

The CCOV in collaboration with  Take Me Somewhere Festival  presents Penpals / Relations épistolaires:The well-being in artistic practice.

For this second edition, we have invite  Mycelium & Marie Claire Forté, two montreal artists whose creative practices evolve around the questions of “well-being”, to collaborate with Aniela Piasecka & Laura Gonzalez, artists from Glasgow , Trough regular exchange that will take the form of correspondence.

The 2 pairs of artists who will collaborate for 3 months will begin their correspondence through video-letters, through which they will exchange the roles of experts and learners. After the first month, participants will be invited to explore other forms of correspondence according to the evolution of their relationship.

In April 2023, CCOV and TMS will host a public discussion, in-person and livestream, with all the participants from both cities to debrief and share reflections of their penpal exchanges. More details coming soon.


Project made possible with support from the Québec Government Office in London.