Creator: Ursula Johnson (visual artist), Nominator: Jan Peacock
This complex work by a leading Indigenous artist, Ursula Johnson, was exhibited at Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery in 2014. Johnson’s decolonizing presentation of Mi’kmaw basket-weaving blends performance, craft and a conceptual approach. In it the artist pays tribute to her great-grandmother Caroline Gould, a renowned Mi’kmaw basket maker who influenced generations of basket makers, including her great granddaughter. The multi-part installation also expands the discourse on post-colonial display and Indigenous self-representation. Mi’kwite’tmn lays claim to Indigenous instruments of meaning-making, employing non-Indigenous museological frameworks to advance Indigenous language and ways of knowing. The exhibition’s national tour and trilingual catalogue will significantly advance the impact of this work on conversations about contemporary Indigenous artmaking. Mi’kwite’tmn” is pronounced “Meh-gwih-DAY-duh-min.”
Jury Comments: “Intelligent, witty, and humble.”
Ursula Johnson is an emerging performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry.