Civic Conversations: Speculative Mapping for the Star Glyph Garden

With Karyn Recollet and Jon Johnson

This event is free and open to anyone, but registration is limitedto 12.

Please register to save your spot!

Speculative Mapping for the Star Glyph Garden is a gathering for setting intentions and asking questions about what is possible when we are led by an ethic of care. Designed for the RMG’s new backyard, the Star Glyph Garden will be a rock garden that welcomes visitors to consider the constellation of people and more-than-human beings that make up this community. The design itself is informed by Indigenous storytelling, as well as the future-oriented cosmology and landing practices of Karyn Recollet and Jon Johnson.

This event is the first in our new Civic Conversations series, which asks: What are we willing to risk to protect, strengthen, and nourish our world and each other? We invite artists and activists from various disciplines to guide us towards stirring questions that challenge us to converse honestly about what is at stake in the way we relate to ourselves, each other, and the places where we live.

Within the context of the RMG’s newly renovated backyard space, this event will provoke thinking and conversation around settler gardening practices and the distinct potential the Star Glyph Garden holds for radical relationality. As a group, participants will be led through a lightly curated mapping process. Karyn will offer prompts that invite reflections and will gather participants into relation. Ephemeral fragments will be left on the site as offerings of love and promise in preparation for the planting of the rock garden, which will take place at a later date.

Participants will be invited to join the artists and gallery staff in a picnic lunch.

Please come prepared to be outside with appropriate clothing, sun protection, and water. The RMG is delighted to provide all participants with a boxed lunch. We have seating and picnic tables, but if you wish, you may choose to bring a picnic blanket for lunch.

For information on our facilities, please click here. If you have any questions about the event or other requests, please email Hannah at

Karyn Recollet (Cree, born in Sturgeon Lake First Nation, SK, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is an Assistant Professor in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. An urban Cree scholar/artist/writer, Recollet’s work focuses on urban Indigenous art-making practices as complex forms of urban glyphing- expressing an expansive understanding of land pedagogy that exceeds the terrestrial. Recollet is in conversation with dance choreographers, Black and Indigenous futurist thinkers, and Indigenous and Black geographers as ways to theorize and activate relationality through forms of land-ing in rupturous times.

Jon Johnson’s research is focused on urban land-based Indigenous Knowledge in Toronto and their representation through oral and digital forms of storytelling. He works actively within Toronto’s Indigenous community in his capacity as a lead organizer for First Story Toronto, an Indigenous-led community-based organization that researches and shares Toronto’s Indigenous presence through popular education initiatives such as storytelling tours of the city and its freely-available smartphone application.

This program is supported by TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment, The City of Oshawa, and The Regional Municipality of Durham.