Artist Tanya Lukin Linkater has been named the recipient of the inaugural Wanda Koop Research Fund.
Created by Canadian Art, the $15,000 award recognizes a mid-career visual artist and is designed to fund research activities related to their artistic practice. The fund is named in honour of Governor General’s Award recipient Wanda Koop, who was the first artist to appear on the cover of Canadian Art when it began publishing in the fall of 1984.
Tanya Lukin Linklater’s performances, videos and installations have been exhibited in Canada and abroad. Her work centres Indigenous knowledge production in and through orality, conversation and embodied practices, including dance. She considers “that which sustains us” to be a conceptual line within her work, alongside histories and structural violences that Indigenous peoples continue to respond to.
In 2017, as a member of Wood Land School, she participated in Under the Mango Tree—Sites of Learning for Documenta 14 organized by aneducation and ifa. Tanya originates from Alaska and is based in northern Ontario.
Candidates for this award are nominated and decided upon by an independent national jury. Jury members for this inaugural prize included Marie-Eve Beaupré, curator of the collection at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Julie Nagam, chair of the history of Indigenous arts of North America at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the University of Winnipeg; Jenifer Papararo, executive director of Plug In ICA in Winnipeg and founding member of the artist collective Instant Coffee; and Jan Peacock, artist, writer and MFA program director at NSCAD University in Halifax.
“Our selection recognizes an artist who continues to grow and flourish in her art creation and intellectual artistic investigations,” Nagam stated on behalf of the jury. “Lukin Linklater’s work is complex, engaging, multidimensional and inspiring. Her practice is leading the way in terms of performance, dance and installation-based work and we were excited for her to be the inaugural recipient of a mid-career award for a visual artist.”