Our first day at Eastern Edge was very eventful and filled with lots of adventures and new discoveries. The main take away from today is that St. Johns, Newfoundland has such a rich history and culture.
The Art Marathon Festival that Eastern Edge annually hosts was already in full swing when we arrived, with local and national artists doing really interesting work all around the city. Everything from performance works to mapping out the city with an intricate stamping systems was happening and we were about to get thrown into this exciting mix with our Public Space Gallery project.
With some of our tools from home, we quickly got to work and began putting together the details for our first workshop.
Josh working in our giving space.
We compiled a list of questions to discuss with the participants that act as entry points to larger questions and discussions that we’re interested in exploring while here.
The goal of the first workshop was to assemble the Public Gallery Collection by discovering the overlooked and under-appreciated parts of St.Johns. Everything from the place that’s most confusing in the city to a place you cannot live without was talked about and the stories shared were fascinating.
On our cab ride from the St.John’s airport to Eastern Edge, we were introduced to Newfoundland’s famous hospitality when our seemingly normal cab ride was turned into a full-fledged tour of the city. The gentlemen driving us down to the gallery was so helpful and excited for us to be visiting that he equipped us with maps, guides, and personally showed us around to all the great spots we need to check out in order to fully understand St.Johns. He even waited to make sure we got into the gallery okay before driving off. Newfoundland hospitality is most definitely not a myth; people here are extremely generous and kind.
The handful of people that showed up for the workshop today were great! They had so many stories to share and really took ownership of the project.
We decided to do a round table discussion of the topics which seemed to pay off. We were able to bounce ideas and experiences off one another, both by locals and visitors.
As the discussions went on, more people became curious and took a seat at the table to give their input.
Jen, an Eastern Edge staff member, referred to a map when trying to remember where a specific site of cultural importance was located.
Josh writes while Charlotte recalls a memory from her childhood.
New topic question.
Around the table.
Josh takes notes and starts to find links.
I switch with Josh to take a stab at the story collecting.
The story wall grows.
By the end of the 2 hour workshop, Josh and I have learnt so many new things about St.Johns, we can’t wait to take to the streets and document all the special nooks and crannies that the participants have shared with us.
The view from outside of Eastern Edge is of Signal Hill. This spot was brought up many different instances during the workshop and will be appearing in our walking tour.
During the workshop, all the places that came up multiple times were compiled into a list and then placed into a google map. It became a preliminary guide for us as we began to walk and photograph these sites.
Above, Josh takes notes on each site.
At every place we visited, we made sure to plot its exact coordinates on our map so that we can transfer them to our walking tour pamphlets.
One of the questions asked during the workshop was, “What is the best place to watch the sunrise/sunset?”, and someone replied by saying on top of this parking garage, so Josh and I went to check it out.
Here’s what we found.
The back of the parking garage shows an interesting view of the downtown area. The topography of this place is pretty awesome.
A screen shot of our map thus far. More soon.