Bebonkwe (Winter) Brown ᐱᐳᐣ (aka Jude Norris) is a Brooklyn based contemporary multi-media Plains Cree/Anishnawbe Nation artist from Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton, AB). In the span of her longstanding practice she’s received numerous arts awards and her work has been exhibited, screened and performed internationally.
Bebonkwe’s work extends the aesthetic sophistication, ferocity, meaning and mystery present in pre-colonial Native artwork, while re-membering the traditional as constantly incorporating new media, influences and situations in innovative ways. She combines the traditional with the technical and organic with urban, juxtaposing, merging and repurposing often dispirit materials and imagery in reflecting relationship between Indigenous and Western culture. Her highly contemporary work is founded on Native teachings and paradigms, while usurping colonial stereotypes of Native people, culture and art, by positing Indigenous Futurism in ground breaking ways.
Bebonkwe’s creative process centers connection with the Spirit world, earth, elements, and plant and animal relations. Her paintings and drawings incorporate contemporary extensions of traditional tribal adornment onto stressed yet lyrical expressionistic surfaces. They involve recognition, reclamation, honoring and continuation of Indigenous women’s ancient abstraction practices in expressing contemporary Amerindian experience. An important aspect of her work is the symbolic and actual transmutation of material, imagery and experience from that which seems irreparable and/or insurmountable into more healed &/or re/balanced states.