Jude Norris / Bebonkwe (Winter) Brown is a multi-disciplinary Metis (Cree/Anishnawbe/Russian/Scottish Gypsy) artist of Plains Cree cultural affiliation. Jude’s work focuses on relationship - to self, others, animal world, earth, culture, community, territory, technology, spirit world, time/timelessness and the ‘Great Mystery’ - and the placement of those relationships in contemporary situations. She creates from the vantage point of a culturally connected Indigenous woman living in post-modern Western society. She expands these personal experiences into work that embodies Indigenous expression and vision, and is also is broadly accessible and relevant. Jude’s pieces often mirror the curious balancing act between Indigenous and Immigrant worlds and paradigms that every First Nations person traverses. Educated in both Indigenous and Western creative traditions and genres, she employs materials, language and creative practices that are iconically ‘Native’ with elements of Western technology, art practice and theory, and language to create idiosyncratic combinations of the traditional, the organic and the digital. She has been using video media in a variety of ways since the late 80’s. This work includes experimental shorts and multi-media, projected and on-screen video installations. Jude employs the unique qualities of new media technologies in continuing Indigenous embrace of oral storytelling forms and prayerful approach to creation. Her work also pushes the boundaries of Western new-media practices. Created from the traditional perspective of connection rather than separation, her videos often evolve from or are involved with her work in other media. Her painting and photography practices deeply inform the aesthetic and format of her video work, particularly as a means to create portrait and landscape. Some of her video installation works entwine with her sculptural practices, and she uses video in a way that is both symbolically and immediately ritualistic, a practice related to both her experience of ceremony and the creation of 'durational' performance artworks. Bebonkwe has also incorporated video in her performance pieces, using both pre-produced and live video as well as creating live-artworks specifically for video. Some early performative video self-portraits are the artefacts of placing the camera as audience. Other self-portraits are approached as real-time or altered-time paintings. Time and/or the placement of subject or activity may be stretched or looped to refer to the tenuous, layered & illusory aspects of earth-bound experiences. Whether through the use of slow motion, repetition, and/or long, focused stretches of real-time imagery, the viewer may be invited to slow down or let go of linear expectations, and by entering an often unfamiliar ‘time-zone’, alter their way of seeing. The making of a thing may be included within itself, creating reality loops that emphasize the relationship between creation and object, journey and destination, and releasing the creative act from linear time. Jude’s use of video to create portraiture extends from herself to others in her painterly explorations, depictions and celebrations of culture, people, animals, plant-world, the land and urban environments. She combines all the above devices with framing, subject matter, color and movement to create images that are always beautiful, yet often have a strange or haunting quality. Enveloped in these images is an underlying Indigenous approach, expressed through quietness, soft humour, and/or focus on the spiritual. She uses these elements to express how we are what we love, the outer is the inner, all things live, movement is inherent to life and is endless, and there is always something we both can and can’t understand. Jude is a recipient of the prestigious Chalmer’s Arts Fellowship, and has received awards from the Canada Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council. Her single channel video work has been screened internationally, including at the Sundance Festival and The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Her new-media installation/work has been widely exhibited and is in the collections of major museums throughout North America. Bebonkwe’s traditional
tribal territory is in and around Edmonton, Alberta. She is currently based in Brooklyn, NY, but like
2010, 03:55 minutes, colour
2010, 50:00 minutes, colour, english
2008, 02:40 minutes, colour, silent
2007, 03:16 minutes, B&W
2007, 28:00 minutes, colour
2007, 11:40 minutes, colour
2007, 11:00 minutes, colour, english
2005, 14:20 minutes, colour, english
2004, 07:30 minutes, colour, english
2003, 01:55 minutes, Colour
2003, 01:45 minutes, Colour, English
2000, 03:30 minutes, colour, English, closed caption
1999, 08:40 minutes, colour, English
1998, 16:45 minutes, colour, English
1997, 10:30 minutes, colour, English
by . Hamilton Artists Inc., Mar. 6, 2010.
by . Front, Nov. 2007, v. 18, no. 5.
by . Between the Lines, Jude Norris, 2006. Toronto: Trinity Square Video and imagineNATIVE Festival, 2006.
by . DOSE, June 10, 2005.
by . unknown, 2005.