Jordan Bennett – The 2018 Sobey Art Award

Jordan Bennett – The 2018 Sobey Art Award


Some people would say my practice is interdisciplinary. I’ve had a writer describing my worker as non-disciplinary but I think that it kind of sums up the fact that I go with one thing for a while and try something else. My name is Jordan Bennett I a Mi’kmaq from Ktaqamkuk, which is now known as Newfoundland. I went to do my masters at UBC Okanagan with the thoughts that I would do all this like advanced technological installations. And I got a chance to spend a lot of time with Daphne Odjig who is an amazing artist. She passed away a couple years ago. I met her on her 95th birthday. She was doing two drawings a day with pencil crayon and I said if she can do these two a day, I could do one a week. And then I started working with a lot of these designs and I started exploring my Mi’kmaq and Beothuk visual culture. Spending a lot of time with a lot of our cultural objects like our porcupine quill designs in our museums and in archives. I started to really incorporate both and think about that shared history. And then it was during my Master’s defense that I was asked what European painters inspired me and I kinda started thinking this like first off I didn’t really have too many European influences because I was referring definitely Daphne Odjig. But also at that moment I stopped, it’s like, I didn’t even realize I was painting because what I was doing I was just trying to tell these stories and I could have told this story in a different way, I could told a story through video if I wanted to. It would look completely different but it could be the same story. That’s kind of a goal is to activate a story. I guess inspiration comes from all different places from my work. When I’m choosing colors I look at old porcupine cowork. It’s a color theory that was developed hundreds of years ago. You know even just the hues of water, everything comes from nature. We’re so disconnected sometimes from nature. So what I’m trying to do is tell these stories about a place in a time. How I see the world and Now I want to interact with the world and I want people to interact with what I do. you

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