Copley Community Orchard is an urban organic orchard in East Vancouver. We wanted to create an event to encourage people in the community to connect to flowers, pollinators, art, and each other while social distancing in the summer of 2021.
The event, “Flower Sun Prints at Copley Community Orchard,” was held on two separate days in the summer. Community artist, Brittney Appleby, facilitated the opportunity to help participants identify the flowers in the orchard and then create art using Sun Print Paper. Sun printing, also called cyanotype or “blueprinting,” is the oldest non-silver photographic printing process. The paper is coated with light-sensitive chemicals, which react to light waves and particles when exposed to sunlight. The participants placed the flowers on the paper, which block the light (as the paper remains white), while the areas on the paper around them turn a beautiful Prussian blue (ferric ferrocyanide). Water (and a little bit of lemon juice) stops the process and fixes the images on the paper.
The community members had the space to be separate from each other and outside while creating art and exploring plants and pollinators together. While the art was being created, participants also heard the music of local musicians Jim Dery (Violinist) and Helga Toppazzini (Accordionist).
What we learned was that community events that include art, nature, and music do not need to be complicated for it to be very well attended and received. Thank you so much to the Vancouver Foundation and the Neighbourhood Small Grants for helping us make this event possible.