The Pocketology Collective was founded in 2010 by Rachel Ellison and Coleen MacPherson.
Both artists had the initial desire to create this collective in order to disrupt the tedium of everyday life, to awaken connections between strangers and to seek out unarticulated stories within the every day.
Rachel began to understand the vitality of pocket stories while living in Tel Aviv. After spending a day roaming the city she emptied her pockets and realized that the collection of items mapped out a story that was unique to living in that city. She began engaging with the stories of others in 2009 when she moved to a new urban lanscape, Toronto. She invited participants to tell stories based on the objects they found in their pockets at The Pocketology Gift Shop and other site-specific installations throughout Toronto.
Rachel and Coleen met during a Jumblies Theatre workshop where they created their first collaboration, a performance piece on Toronto Island. Their conversation inspired by the idea of seeking new forms of engagement continued and the two received funding to tour pocket installations across the GTA. They took part in the St. Mary’s Storytelling festival and most recently were commissioned by The Madeleine Collective to participate in The Art of The Danforth in May 2012. A story about Pocketology by Lily Ames was featured on CBC Radio’s Here and Now. The Pocketology story archive continues to grow as do the connections made through pocket stories.
Rachel now lives in Chicago where she recently earned an MFA in Visual Art at The University of Chicago and Coleen, who has been working in Toronto for the past four years as an actor, director and playwright is beginning studies at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris this Fall. With Rachel in the United States, Coleen in Paris and Toronto as a connecting point, physical distance presents itself as a key tool to investigate the relationship between place and self.
For Theatre Local: Small Audiences 2012