Jude Norris

Jude Norris (aka Tatakwan) 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 very particular vantage point of an Indigenous woman living in post-modern Western society. She expands these personal experiences into work that embodies Indigenous expression and vision, yet is broadly accessible and relevant.

Jude/Tatakwan’s work often mirrors the curious balancing act between Indigenous and Immigrant world and paradigm which every First Nations person traverses. Educated in both Indigenous & Western creative traditions & genres, she employs elements of ‘Native’ material, language, creative practice, and iconography with those of Western technology, art practice & theory, and language, creating idiosyncratic combinations of the traditional, the organic and the digital.

She has been using video media in a variety of ways for over two decades. This work includes experimental shorts, multi-media video installation, projected video installation & on-screen video installation. Jude employs the unique qualities of new media technologies to continue 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 & culture. Her long-standing painting & photography practices deeply inform the aesthetic & format of her video work, particularly as a means to create portrait and landscape. She often uses video in a way that is both symbolically and immediately ritualistic, a practice which stems from her experience of both ceremony and 'durational' performance artwork.

Tatakwan has used both pre-produced and live video in her performance-art work, as well as creating live-artworks specifically for video. In earlier works, the resulting ‘self-portraits’ were a practical device resulting from using/placing the camera as audience. In other works, the self-portrait is approached as real-time or altered-time painting. Time and/or the placement of material 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.

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 and the land. In addition to the above devices, she uses combinations of 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. This may include a soft humor, a quietness, and/or a spiritual approach and awareness - that we are what we love, the outer is the inner, that all things live, that movement is inherent to life and is endless, and that after all is said & done, there is always something we both can & 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 & 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. Tatakwan’s traditional tribal territory is in and around Edmonton, Alberta. She is currently based between Toronto & NYC, but like her ancestors, she considers herself largely nomadic & part of a number of communities.


self-portrait in revolutions

2008, 02:40 minutes, colour, silent

Diary of a Nomad (3 channel installation)

2007, 28:00 minutes, colour

original (2 channel installation)

2007, 11:40 minutes, colour


2007, 11:00 minutes, colour, english

'A Horse Called Memory'

2005, 14:20 minutes, colour, english

Intertribal Time

2004, 07:30 minutes, colour, english


2003, 01:55 minutes, Colour

Makekway Masinakatew

2003, 01:45 minutes, Colour, English

Red Buffalo Skydive

2000, 03:30 minutes, colour, English

Holy Dog

1999, 08:40 minutes, colour, English

toxic soil

1998, 16:45 minutes, colour, English

10,000 Years

1997, 10:30 minutes, colour, English