indigenous art

Ursula Johnson: Cultural Cocoon

Basket Weaving (Cultural Cocoon) – Ursula Johnson- Multidisciplinary Mi’kmaq Artist 2016-04-14 10-18-39

Ursula Johnson, finalist for the 2017 Sobey Art Award, is an emerging performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry.  Her Basket Weaving (Cultural Cocoon) series is an avant-garde version of use of the traditional materials her family has worked with for generations. During the long, extended performances, she weaves a basket around herself.

One performance, for example, took place over 12 hours from daybreak to nightfall on Manitoulin Island using Georgian Bay to immerse the ash splints for pliability.


When Johnson asked her great-grandmother, Master Basket-Weaver Caroline Gould, what she thought of the idea of weaving a basket around herself, her great-grandmother replied, “I’m just glad you’re weaving.”

Her work is much broader than this one performance and it’s well worth a look at her fascinating website, here.


5 replies »

  1. I love her website because there are sounds and movement in subtle ways that I really appreciated. She would seem to have a good sense of humor.


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