A public garden & cultural center

Maria Hupfield

Pictured: Maria Hupfield’s Call and Response Bag. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Here We Land | April 14 - July 14, 2019

Maria Hupfield is a citizen of the Anishinaabek Nation from Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario, Canada. Her sculptural body-objects, made of hand-sewn, industrial felt, are often activated through performance. Informed by the writing of Karyn Recollet, Indigenous Scholar at the University of Toronto, Hupfield’s work considers relationality between land and sky. Her installation for Here We Land consists of several primary components that interact with aspects of the north gallery. A central feature is In Land, In Landing, a customized, social sculpture made from modified Wave Hill chairs painted in fluorescent yellow and including textual elements. On the walls hang collages made from one-inch, industrial felt pads with hand-cut holes. Call and Response Bag takes the form of a traditional shoulder bag that is adorned with plant motifs but connected to the wall through a bold florescent stripe. Stones in The Sky is an assortment of ten, geometric-shaped “moon-rock” sculptures of various sizes that are displayed in the gallery’s cabinet.

Pictured: Maria Hupfield's Stones in the Sky, 2019, Industrial felt. Courtesy of the artist. Image: Stefan Hagen. 

Pictured: Maria Hupfield's Here We Land installation. All works courtesy of the artist. Image: Stefan Hagen.  

Winter Workspace 2013
Glyndor Gallery | January 2 – March 24, 2013

Maria Hupfield explores the relationship between the body, objects and space. She examines this connection by creating objects that also function as tools: jingle boots that track the body’s rhythm or masks that create a link to the natural world. During the Winter Workspace at Wave Hill, the artist created a snowmobile suit that included helmet, gloves and boots, all made of industrial felt. Hupfield grew up on the shores of the Georgian Bay in Ontario and is a member of the Wasauksing First Nation. Her work is widely exhibited in Canada. In 2009 she had work on display in Glyndor Gallery at Wave Hill as part of the exhibition Muhheakantuck in Focus

Muhheakantuck in Focus
Glyndor Gallery | August 1 – November 29, 2009

Maria Hupfield circled back to the original name of the river, Muhheakantuck, to create these ink drawings. She researched maps and other abstractions of history to delve into the assumptions made about a place. She notes that the fact that the river flowing both ways shares similarities with aboriginal ideas of governance. Her multi-layered use of powerful Anishnaabe origin figures that double as symbols of power in Western governments, invites different interpretations. In the Nation as a River, on the left, the parallel movement suggests the river flowing both ways, with the canoes in one direction and the imperial lion (or underwater panther) in the other. The image is open to interpretation of the flow of the river and the Two Row Treaty between the Dutch and the Haudenosaunee in 1613. The Eagle Dance bears a relation to emblematic representations of the United States, yet is also a powerful Anishnaabe sky world figure. By drawing a red line across each frame, the artist asserts her hand, and reminds us of the symbolic nature of the drawing.

Maria Hupfield’s practice includes painting, object-making and performance and community activism, and is grounded in a combination of both Indigenous and Western art practices. She is of Anishnaabe (Ojibway) heritage, and a member of Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario, Canada. She earned her MFA in sculpture from York University, Toronto, ON and an Honours BA in art and art history from the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON and Sheridan College, Sheridan, WY. She is an Associate Professor in Visual Arts, at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, BC, where she currently lives and works. While living in Toronto, Hupfield organized and carried out numerous community arts projects. She is the Founding Coordinator of 7th Generation Image Makers, a youth arts organization with a focus on Metis, Inuit and First Nations Youth in downtown Toronto. In the New York area her work was included in Native Voices, FiveMyles, Brooklyn NY; and 50 Years of Pow Wow, Castle Gallery, New Rochelle, NY. Solo exhibitions in Canada include Making Space/Sharing Place, Gallery 101, in collaboration with the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, Ottawa ON; Wagon Burner, This! Princess Moonrider, That!, A Space Gallery & imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Toronto, ON; and From Stereotype to Archetype, Indian and Inuit Art Centre, Hull, QC.

Nation as a River: Glub, Glub Goes the Fish, with Red Water Panther,
Ink on paper
26” x 40”
Courtesy of the artist

Eagle Dance: The Residual Effect, with Red Thunderrer, 2009
Ink on
26” x 40”
Courtesy of the artist


More information at www.mariahupfield.com.

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.