author: mason sliva | a&c editor
Speaking with renowned alumni, Audie Murray
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with University of Regina graduate, Audie Murray. Audie recently completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts, and is the regional recipient of the BMO 1st! Art competition. Her piece, Pair of Socks, has gained national attention, and touches on elements of Audie’s Métis background.
- Can you tell me a little more about your background in art?
AM: I studied at Camosun College for two years before completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Regina.
- What pushed you to pursue art further?
AM: I was studying under a different undergrad and I wasn’t as passionate as my peers. So, I re-assessed and began to study visual arts which was more exciting for me.
- What mediums do you work with?
AM: I don’t really like to stick to one medium; I like to explore what materials have to offer. I think it’s most important to be able to subvert whatever medium I am working with and have fun with it.
- Can you explain your piece?
AM: Pair of Socks was part of the visual art’s undergrad show in 2017. It is a pair of socks with floral-motif beadwork on the soles. Beading the sole of the foot makes the wearer uncomfortable, physically and mentally, as they must now question the importance of their movements. Beading an item of clothing with a traditional Métis floral pattern is often for decorative purposes or to mark a person to be in a position of honour. These socks question what forms power, wealth, and importance, and who/where these concepts reside in present day. That’s what I can put forward, but ultimately the viewer is able – and encouraged – to draw their own explanation.
- How has your heritage helped to influence your art?
AM: Art has been an important factor with my personal acceptance and understanding of my identity as a Métis person. I think the influence my cultural background has on my work is fairly evident.
- Where do you see your art taking you?
AM: To a cabin in a forest far away where I can have a huge studio, a garden, a goat, and energy sourced from running water and solar panels.
- What are some of the messages or themes that are common in your works?
AM: Cultural revitalization is important to me, and I try to do this by practicing certain ways of working and understanding. I like to bead, skin stitch, and be aware of the plants of the land I am living on. I work from personal experiences, but translate these experiences into something that viewers can connect with on their own level.
- Can you tell me a little more about the competition?
AM: BMO 1st Art! is a competition for graduating students. Each institution nominates a few students, and then the nominated students send in an application to be juried. More information can be found on the BMO 1st Art! site, like who the jurors are and who won from other provinces and territories.
- How does it feel to have your art recognized on a national scale?
AM: I was surprised when I heard I won for Saskatchewan, but I am also very excited! I think it is a great opportunity to start my career as an emerging artist, post-education.
- Where have you had your works displayed?
AM: At various galleries in Canada, including Art Mür, Open Space, and the MacKenzie Art Gallery. I also like to show my work on the sides of buildings, on people’s skin, and in my parents’ house.
- How did your time at the University of Regina influence you as an artist?
AM: It was nice studying at the University of Regina because that is the area I grew up, and where the majority of my family resides. It was great having family members, and the Saskatchewan landscape and history to pull inspiration and research from. There were also many helpful professors in the program!
- Any additional comments?
AM: If you are reading this and find yourself in Toronto between November 16- December 16, check out the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery. If you are in Vancouver during November, I have some pieces up at the Gam Gallery.
I also try to update my Instagram with what I am working on so check it out @pandaodds.
If you study at the U of R, there is a dry sauna in the woman’s [SIC] gym change room, and I highly recommend it! Don’t forget to stay hydrated.