Homelands

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National Identity, Borders and the Time Factor
tapestry, colonial, National Identity, design, borders, reserves, comparison, Apartheid, S. Africa, devastation, Louis Riel, Boer War, communication of ideas,value and authority, historical, process-oriented, research, autobiographical, ritual, spontaneous, labour-intensive, time-consuming,unorthodox, technologies-old and new
description

Ann Newdigate’s research into colonial issues reveals that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, delegations of South African political officials visited Saskatchewan to  studyA preparatory drawing, related to a sketch. (Artlex.com)  the Canadian system of Native reserves. They wanted to  designA plan, or to plan. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the elements of art and principles of design have been combined to achieve an overall sense of unity. Also [applied design], the production of attractive and well crafted functional objects. Subcategories of the design arts include: architecture, bonsai, fashion design, furniture design, graphic design, ikebana, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, stagecraft, textile design, and Web page design. (Artlex.com)  a prototype for the apartheid system which separated every aspect of the lives of white and Native people, to the disadvantage of both, but with particularly devastating effects on the Native population. Between 1885 and 1900, Louis Riel was executed in Canada and Newdigate's grandfather was killed in The Boer War in Africa. Her drawings on the  subjectA topic or idea represented in an art work.  lead to the work seen here and its title, National Identity, Borders and the Time Factor, or Wee Mannie.

Medieval Tapestry Through her choice of  mediaAny material and technique used to produce a work of art (paint, glass, clay, fibre, video, sound, etc.). It may also refer to the liquid with which powdered pigments are mixed to make paint. Note that the plural form of “medium” is “media.”  and the complexity of her work, Newdigate challenges ideas of value and authority based on process in the arts. She visually communicates her ideas in new and sometimes challenging ways, using the intersection of old and new technologies to question what is the truth, or the real history. As part of her process, Newdigate considers herself to be primarily an artist who draws from the  mediumAny material and technique used to produce a work of art (paint, glass, clay, fibre, video, sound, etc.). It may also refer to the liquid with which powdered pigments are mixed to make paint. Note that the plural form of “medium” is “media.”  or process, researches official histories, and weaves them into personal or autobiographical histories. She enjoys the ritual of making a  tapestryA woven piece of textile depicting pattern or narrative or symbolic images. A tapestry is composed of weft and warp threads, but in tapestry all warp threads are hidden and it is the weft threads which result in an image.  that can be spontaneous and unorthodox, and thinks that even though the process can be time consuming and labour intensive, it requires much less patience than does working with a computer.

additional resources Things to Think About
  • What is a paradox? Could leaving her "home" in South Africa help Ann Newdigate to actually feel more at home within herself? Discuss. What are some of the paradoxes within the human condition.
Studio Activity

Weaving

Connections

  • Find words from songs or poetry that are important to you.
  • Write the words across paper or canvas.
  • Draw an image that is important to you but not clearly connected to these words.
  • Add more words or phrases relating to the image but not to the first words.

History

In National Identity, Borders and the Time Factor, or Wee Mannie and other artworks, Ann Newdigate challenges ideas of value and authority based on process in the arts.

  • Interview someone who has a perspective of recorded history that differs from what the history books may suggest.
  • Make a comparative artwork where both ideas are presented or pick one of the histories and depict it in a new and innovative way.
References

Author unknown.  ‘Ann Newdigate:  Lifetime Award for Excellence in the Arts, 1999.’  A Tribute to Our Pioneers.  Saskatchewan Arts Board, 1999.  Retrieved from the Internet on August 10, 2008 from:  http://www.artsboard.sk.ca/Tribute/tribute_newdigat.shtml

Author unknown.  ‘International artist brings  tapestryA woven piece of textile depicting pattern or narrative or symbolic images. A tapestry is composed of weft and warp threads, but in tapestry all warp threads are hidden and it is the weft threads which result in an image.  to the fore-front of  contemporaryCurrent, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. (Artlex.com)  art.’  Press Release.  Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, September 26, 2003.

Gustafson, Paula.  ‘Tapestry:  The  NarrativeRelating to the telling of a story, or the telling of events, etc.  Voice.’  Artichoke, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1990.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning