May 19 – June 30, 2018
SSNAP 2017 WINNER of the Joan McConnell Award
Judy Anderson, is a Nehiyaw (Cree) artist from Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art, University of Calgary where she teaches Studio and Indigenous studio art. She holds a BA and a BFA from the University of Saskatchewan and an MFA from the University of Regina. She was previously a faculty member at the First Nations University of Canada and taught in the graduate program at the University of Regina.
Her research creation includes beadwork, installation, hand-made paper, painting, three-dimensional pieces, and collaborative projects. Her work is deeply personal with a focus on issues of spirituality, family, colonialism, graffiti and Indigenous epistemological and ontological traditions. More recently, her work has taken two new paths: She is creating new pieces with the purpose of honouring the people in her life and Indigenous intellectualizations of the world; and, since her time as a visiting scholar at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in 2014, she has begun research into traditional European methods and materials of painting.
To honour her son, Cruz, in his journey as a graffiti artist/writer and becoming a man she created Exploit Robe (Toying Around), 58” x 62” a fully beaded piece on moose hide of Cruz’s first “burner” (a large and elaborate graffiti piece) that he created at the age of 12. The use of the term “toy,” acknowledges his inexperience as a writer while honouring the beginning of his journey as an artist. This piece acted as a catalyst for on-going collaborations with her son, Cruz, where they fuse graffiti and beadwork in smaller projects.
She has exhibited Nationally and Internationally including: Project Space, Melbourne, Australia; MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; The Glenbow Museum, Calgary; Contemporary Calgary; The Art Gallery of Regina; Plain Red Art Gallery; and as winner of the SSNAP at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver. She is looking forward to upcoming exhibitions in Windsor, ON and Montreal, QC.
In 2017 she participated in the Australian Indigenous Arts Residency Exchange, a joint project of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s (RMIT) and the University of Lethbridge Gushul Studio Residency. In 2016, she was chosen by the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina to attend the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn, New York. In 2014, Anderson was invited to be a scholar at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, England where she met Prince Charles and introduced him to the Indigenous way of beading and quilling.
For this residency, I plan to work on a new body of beaded graffiti. This will be done in collaboration with my son, Cruz Anderson, in fact I have already begun designing and researching this work. Most of my graffiti work has been incredibly large and time consuming.For this body of beaded graffiti, I will be working in a smaller format, an 8” diameter circle. I intend to bead on trade cloth, in the middle of the circle, in graffiti, the Plains Cree word for a cardinal direction. I will be using beads in the colour ascribed by Plains Cree spiritual belief to that direction. I am thinking about the importance of language, the importance of the four directions for Indigenous people, and how these directions embody and represent spirituality on multiple levels. I will come prepared to work on 4 circles with the intention of completing one, and, if all goes well, have a second one near completion.
During my time on Salt Spring Island I started a new body of work that concentrated on Indigenous spiritual thought, Cree language and Indigenous ways of making.
My goal was to complete one work but I was able to complete two and start a third. The residency gave me concentrated time to get work done. In addition, it was fantastic getting to know the Salt Spring Island artist community, it is large, welcoming and relationships were made. I am very pleased with the outcomes of my residency.
The most memorable aspect for me was personal. One of my best friends, Betty Tyrchniewicz, died 10 years ago on Salt Spring Island. I always regretted not visiting her, so I thought of her the entire time I was on Salt Spring and realized how well the island had suited her. When my son, Cruz, came to the Island we found her land, walked on it and collected cedar from her tree. I said a prayer, gave an offering and felt a circle close. The only thing that would have added to this experience would have been to find someone who knew her, I am hopeful that will happen during my next visit.