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Forty on Treaty Four

Forty on Treaty Four
Commemorative Risograph Print
By Audie Murray
Edition of 40

The artist speaks about the project in their own words:

For Neutral Ground’s 40th anniversary I designed a limited edition of forty risograph posters. Neutral Ground has always supported experimental art practices and the process of risograph printing beautifully acknowledges this. The poster depicts a birthday cake that resembles a piece of sod. The cake is inspired by the origin story of Neutral Ground where a barge of sod was placed in the lake to represent a neutral point to show art, which later transformed into a formal artist-run centre. This original performance was led by Nida Home Doherty and launched on Wascana lake in 1982. The material of sod was once again explored in 1998 during the exhibition “I.R. 80a, A Treaty IV Art Event” hosted by artists Edgar Heap of Birds, Richard Martel, Edward Poitras. During this exhibition, Richard Martel led a performance intervention with local collaborators which included the parading of pieces of sod around downtown Regina as a way to acknowledge whose lands we occupy.

The link between sod as a marker of both neutrality and place specificity is interesting to me as both performances provide public discourse outside of gallery walls. As we know, Regina is situated on Treaty 4 territory, the homelands of the Nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, and the Métis. I was interested in this repetition of four in relation to the age of the gallery space, and to Neutral Ground’s relationship to place. Happy anniversary Neutral Ground! I am looking forward to witnessing many more years of amazing artists exploring their practices here.

AUDIE MURRAY is a relative, dreamer, skin-stitcher and Michif visual artist based in Oskana kâ-asastêki (Regina, Saskatchewan; Treaty 4 territory). Much of her family and family histories are located in the Qu’Appelle Valley and Meadow Lake regions of Saskatchewan, spanning both Treaty 4 & 6 territories. Murray holds a visual arts diploma from Camosun College, 2016; a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Regina, 2017; and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary, 2022.

Her practice is informed by the process of making and visiting to explore themes of contemporary culture, embodied experiences and lived dualities. These modes of working assist with the recentering of our collective connection to the body, ancestral knowledge systems, space and time. She has exhibited widely, including at the Independent Art Fair, NYC; The Vancouver Art Gallery; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow; and the Anchorage Museum. Murray is represented by Fazakas Gallery, located on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm territory (Vancouver, B.C.).