Nekt Wikuhpon Ehpit
No present without the past.
No equality without feminism.
Shirley Bear has depicted everything from feminist to rights issues, from appeals to the UN to Oka.
Nekt wikuhpon ehpit: Once there lived a woman: The Painting, Poetry and Politics of Shirley Bear chronicles the sources, inspiration, and personal circumstances that have shaped Shirley Bear's visual art, poetry, and political activism and presents the integral relationship amongst these important activities in her life.
Countering the invisible silent status ascribed to Indigenous women by patriarchal history and convention, Bear's primary focus has been the recovery of the feminine role in the ancestral life of First Nations culture. Featuring more than 30 reproductions of her work with essays by Terry Graff, Susan Crean, and Carol Taylor, Nekt wikuhpon ehpit both depicts and examines the essential feminine imagery of Bear's work in their symbolic, archetypal, or representative forms.
Shirley Bear's work has been featured in exhibitions throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. Her art is included in the collections of the Canadian Museum of History, the National Arts Centre, the New Brunswick Art Bank, Carleton University Art Gallery, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Her writing has been featured in several anthologies, including Kelusultiek: Original Women's Voices of Atlantic Canada and The Colour of Resistance. She received the New Brunswick Excellence in the Arts Award in 2002.
Terry Graff is a visual artist, curator, and writer. He has served as Director and Chief Curator of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon. His art work has toured internationally and is included in many private and public collections.
Shirley Bear is a multimedia artist, writer, activist, feminist, and tradtional herbalist from Negootkook (Tobique First Nation), New Brunswick. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Her art is included in numerous private and public collections, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the National Arts Centre, the New Brunswick Art Bank, Carleton University, First Nations House of Learning at the University of British Columbia, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. She has been profiled for film and television by CBC, the National Film Board, and independent producers in such films as Minqwon Minqwon and Kwa'Nu'Te by Cathy Martin and Keepers of the Fire by Christine Welsh. Her writing is featured in several anthologies and a recent book of poems, Virgin Bones, appeared in 2006. A long-time activist for the rights of Indigenous women, she received a New Brunswick Arts Board's Excellence in the Arts Award in 2002 and was named to the Order of Canada in 2011.