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Atelier familles boycepererasantos



Activities for all ages

Illustration: Marie-Fei Deguire

The PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art presents the exhibitions FEELING HER WAY by artist Sonia Boyce, and Efflorescence/The Way We Wake by artists Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos, from May 3 to September 8, 2024.

The activity kit is designed by the PHI Foundation’s Education Team

Kim Johnson
Prakash Krishnan
Paul Lofeodo
Marilou Lyonnais Archambault

Head of Education:
Marie-Hélène Lemaire

Hello! We are delighted to offer an activity kit that explores the exhibitions FEELING HER WAY by contemporary artist* Sonia Boyce, and Efflorescence/The Way We Wake by contemporary artists Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos. This activity kit is made for children and youth, as well as the adults in their lives.


*What is a “contemporary artist”? The word “contemporary” means “now” or “of our time.” Sonia, Marigold, and Rajni are contemporary artists because they make art now, in the present.


What is a celebration? A celebration is the act of highlighting the importance of someone or something. It can take on different forms: a creation, a birthday, a party, or a festival. The theme of celebration is at the heart of Sonia Boyce’s artwork Devotional Collection (ongoing since 1999). For more than twenty years, Boyce has collected all sorts of musical objects, because of her personal interest in them, as well as her desire to celebrate important Black British female musicians who have often been overlooked. Here, the act of highlighting someone’s importance takes the form of an impressive collection. When we collect things, it’s usually because we find them very interesting. Through this gesture, Boyce pays tribute to these overlooked creators.

Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos create artworks that often reference the history and culture of their countries of origin. Through their art, they want to pay tribute to the spiritual and cultural practices that are part of their heritage. The traditional gestures we see in their works are called rituals. For example, in Waiting for Sanni Yaka (2022), we see the performance of a ritual that involves Sanni Yaka, a Sri Lankan spirit. A ritual is usually a repetitive action or gesture made at a specific moment, generally associated with a community, cultural, or spiritual tradition. For example, on our birthday, we often make a wish and blow out candles on a birthday cake: that is a ritual.

Activity 1

A Celebratory Record For You


Theme: Celebration

To explore the theme of celebration, we will create a cardboard record that pays tribute to someone close to us.

For those who don’t know what vinyl records are, they are like the grandparents of Spotify and YouTube. It’s how people used to listen to music. Records come in different formats:

One is the 33 rpm (revolutions per minute), which allows you to listen to an entire album by a musician or a band.

The other is the 45 rpm, which usually has only one or two songs per side.

The format we will make is the 45. For this, you are invited to come up with two song titles that are dedicated to someone you love.

Materials: a file folder, a glue stick, adhesive tape, scissors, oil pastels and/or pencil crayons, a ruler, black construction paper, white construction paper, a pen or a fine-tip felt pen, a small plate, a mug, glitter, and aluminum foil.

Step 1: Make the album cover

First, you will make the album cover for your record.

To do this, you will need a file folder.

Using a ruler and scissors, measure and cut the folder into a square that is 7 x 7 inches (about 18 x 18 cm). Keep the folder scraps; you will need them later on.

Next, use the glue stick to apply glue along the two edges of the folder. This will create a kind of pocket-envelope.

Step 2: Make the record

Using the plate, trace a circle on the black construction paper and cut it out. This will be your vinyl record.

Note: Before you cut, make sure your plate is a bit smaller than the album cover you just made.

Add a smaller circle in the centre of your record by tracing around the end of the glue stick. Cut this smaller hole out.

Next, use the mug to trace two small circles on the white construction paper; these will be the labels that will go in the middle of the record. Cut these circles out.

Now use the end of the glue stick to trace a small circle in the centre of these two white circles. Cut these two holes out.

Glue the two white circles in the middle of the black record on both sides to create the record labels.

On the labels, you’ll write the titles of the two songs you will invent and the name of the person you want to celebrate.

Step 3: Designing the album cover

In her artworks, Sonia has often explored the idea of the pattern. A pattern is a shape that is repeated in a space to create a visual rhythm.

In her artwork titled FEELING HER WAY (2022), the walls of the gallery are covered in wallpaper that has a geometric print.

With this in mind, decorate your album cover. We suggest that you create your pattern using oil pastels or coloured pencils, and the scraps of paper you saved earlier on.

On a piece of scrap paper, trace and cut out a geometric shape of your choice. Then seal the shape with some tape to create a stencil.

Now you can experiment with repeating the pattern on your album cover. Have fun colouring, stamping, and positioning your shapes in different ways.

You can also recreate this shape using glue and glitter directly on your album cover. Sonia Boyce is particularly fond of shiny materials like gold and reflective surfaces.

If you don’t have any glitter, you can glue pieces of aluminum foil or any other reflective material onto your album cover.

Step 4: Celebration

For the final step, think of the person you would like to celebrate and invent two song titles that you could give to them as a present. We also suggest that the name of the artist on your record be the name of the person you want to celebrate. Write the song titles and their name on the labels on both sides of the record.

Give them your record as a gift!

Have fun!

Activity 2

Let’s Make a Kolam at Home!


Theme: Ritual

A kolam is a symbol that can be found all over Southern India, and in other countries where people from South India now live—Canada, for example. It’s a symbol of protection and welcoming.

Note that there are many ways to draw a kolam. In fact, the options are endless! Here, we will show you how to draw one kind of kolam by using dots and loops. 

Materials: a pencil or marker, paper, school glue, a ruler, glitter, construction paper, chalk or rice flour. 

Step 1: To practice the basics of the design, take a sheet of paper and a pencil or marker.

Draw a grid with a dot at the top of the sheet, a dot directly underneath, and a dot on the left and on the right. Make sure the dots are evenly spaced. Use a ruler if necessary.

Then, choose a starting point and trace continuous loops around the four dots.

Ta-da, you have just made your first kolam!

You can play with the size and shape of the kolam by experimenting with the number and placement of the dots. Try it with a grid of four by four dots, or five by five dots, or any other format, and see what kind of results you get.

Step 2: After practicing with a pencil, we will now try it with glue. 

Once again, start with the dots. Choose the size of grid and number of dots you like the most, for example a four-by-four dot grid. Just like in the first step, you can plan the position of the dots with a pencil and a ruler to make sure the dots are evenly spaced. 

Next, cover each dot with a drop of glue. 

Then, squeeze the bottle so that a thin stream of glue comes out. Create loops around each dot with the glue, like you did with the pencil earlier on.

You are free to make the loops any way you want, as long as every dot is circled by a loop.

When your kolam is finished, cover it in glitter. Shake off the excess and save it for another activity. And ta-da, your kolam is ready to be placed in front of your home or on your bedroom door.

Step 3: If you have access to an outdoor space, you can also draw a kolam on the ground using chalk or flour.

To draw with flour, take some in your hand and allow a bit of it to fall onto the ground in a line to draw your loops, as we did with the glue.

Feel free to experiment with different colours and shapes. Invite your friends and family to join you in this ritual!

Related Exhibitions

PHI Fondation Boyce Web Thumb




May 3 September 8

The PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to present the North American premiere of FEELING HER WAY by Sonia Boyce DBE RA

Exhibition Contemporary Art
PHI Fondation Santos Perrera Web Thumb



Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos: Efflorescence/The Way We Wake

May 3 September 8

The PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to present Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos: Efflorescence/The Way We Wake, an exhibition featuring recent paintings and sculptures produced by each artist from 2021 to 2024

Exhibition Contemporary Art