2003-2015: Basket Weaving (Cultural Cocoon)
PERFORMED AT/AS PART OF:
2015 Custom Made, Kamloops, British Columbia
2012 Planet IndigenUS, Toronto, Ontario
2011 6Foot Festival, Manitowaning, Ontario
2003 Nations In A Circle: Aboriginal Arts Showcase, Halifax, Nova Scotia MATERIALS:
Ash Splints, Crooked Knife, Scissors STATEMENT:
There has been 4 visitations of Basket Weaving, a durational performance, where she weaves a basket around herself.
In 2003, the first Basket Weaving was a 3 day performance where Johnson attempted an avante-garde visitation of the traditional materials that her family has worked with for several generations. 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”.
Johnson had not engaged with Ash Splint Basketry since she was a child. Her failed mistakes over the course of the next few days provided several lessons for Johnson that would later inform her practice; the way in which she processes the relational aspects of her public cooperative performances as well as the way in which she develops further works as a result of these visitations and interactions.
Basket Weaving was visited for the second time in 2010 for a 12 hour period from daybreak to nightfall on Manitoulin Island using the Georgian Bay as the place of water of which she immersed the splints for pliability. This was for the 6Foot Festival hosted by the Debahjehmujig Creation Centre.
The third time was for the Planet IndigenUS Arts Festival in 2011, in downtown Toronto on the astro-turf lawn in front of the Harbourfront Centre, where she completely encased herself once again over a period of 8 hours.
During a group exhibition called Custom Made curated by Tania Willard for the Kamloops Art Gallery, Johnson once again encased herself in what she has referred to as her “Cultural Cocoon” for the fourth time. That day’s performance lasted a total of 6 hours.MORE INFO:
Kamloops Art Gallery website