Judy Chartrand
If this is what you call “Being Civilized”, I’d rather go back to being a “Savage”: Empress Hotel (2003)
low-fired ceramic, underglaze, glaze, lustre
Bowl: 4 1/2 x 13 in (11.43 x 33.02 cm)

Judy Chartrand (b. 1959), a contemporary artist of Manitoba Cree heritage currently living and working in Vancouver, is one of rennie collection’s in-depth collected artists. Her work was installed in Winter 2015: Collected Works, rennie museum’s largest exhibition to date. Predominantly working in ceramics and installation, Chartrand’s work is boldly assertive and humorous, often attacking issues of racism and post-colonial relations. Rather than focusing on the victimization of marginalized individuals, Chartrand flips the script and creates work that spotlights the privileged life lived in ignorance, shielded from day-to-day racism and poverty. With forthright titles such as What A Wonderful World: Go Back to Your Own Country and If this is what you call “Being Civilized”, I’d rather go back to being a “Savage”, Chartrand’s work forces the viewer to confront their own perpetuations of discrimination. How many times have we told someone to act “civilized” and what were our presumptions of civilized behavior based on?

Chartrand’s work has been widely exhibited across North America and is included in numerous private collections. She was the subject of the major retrospective Judy Chartrand: What a Wonderful World (October 19, 2016—March 26, 2017) at Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver, BC. With the majority of artworks on loan from rennie collection, the exhibition brought together over 30 years of the artist’s work. Chartrand’s upcoming group exhibition Playing With Fire: Ceramics of the Extraordinary at Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver will exhibit six major works once again on loan from rennie collection.

Playing With Fire: Ceramics of the Extraordinary will be on view from November 22, 2019—March 29, 2020. For more information please visit: https://moa.ubc.ca/exhibition/playing-with-fire/