Each year, as part of our Artist in Residence Program, we invite artists to respond to and reflect on ongoing developments, research processes, technological and pedagogical innovations and other activities within the Bodies in Translation project. This year, we are thrilled to be working with artists Vanessa Dion Fletcher and Alex Bulmer.
Vanessa Dion Fletcher is an independent artist. She employs porcupine quills, Wampum belts, and menstrual blood to reveal the complexities of what defines a body physically and culturally. She links these ideas to personal experiences with language, fluency, and understanding. All of these themes are brought together in the context of her Potawatomi and Lenape ancestry, and her learning disability caused by a lack of short-term memory. Her work is held in the Indigenous Art Center Collection in Gatineau, Quebec. In 2016, Dion Fletcher graduated from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago with an M.F.A in performance. She is the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts International Residency in Santa Fe, New Mexico U.S.A.
Image: A light-skinned face stands out against a black background and black hare. Vanessa’s eyes are fixed on something in the distance, porcupine quills jet out of her mouth and her fingers delicately pick one two remove.
Alex Bulmer is an award-winning Canadian writer, performer, and art maker. She has written for CBC radio, BBC radio, film and television and UK Channel 4. Notable projects include: Life Unseen, a critically acclaimed sound installation; SMUDGE, which was nominated twice for Best New Play in Canada and named Time Out’s Critics Choice in the UK. She was also a writer for the all disabled BAFTA nominated television series Cast Offs which ran in the UK in 2009. Alex has worked locally with Buddies, Nightwood, Theatre Centre, and internationally with Royal Court Theatre, the London 2012 Olympics, Polka Theatre and Graeae Theatre Company. She is also the artistic director of the UK based company, Invisible Flash. Alex is a fellow of the Winston Churchill Trust and was named one of the UK’s most influential disabled artists in 2014. She is proud to share best actress award with fellow blind performer Margot Carghil in Awake, which screened at Film Festival’s in Moscow, San Francisco and Dresden. Alex celebrates the infusion of disability into the arts and welcomes participatory design for a more inclusive world.
Image: A middle aged white woman smiles to the camera looking slightly to the side of the frame.