Textile artist Janice Wright Cheney won the Strathbutler award in 2004. As an artist who began her professional life as a painter, Wright Cheney switched to textiles as a medium to express her ideas. The jury noted the provocative nature of her recent work which was inspired by her fascination with forensic entomology. Rendering insects and other animals as realistically as possible involves meticulous research by the artist and demonstrates her skill in a variety of textile based media. With these works, Wright Cheney invites the viewer to examine the various ways humans understand nature and the transitory nature of all things.
Wright Cheney holds a BFA from Mount Allsion University and a M.Ed from UNB. She is an instructor at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and an active member of the Fredericton arts community. She has exhibited in both group and solo shows, most notably Disorderly Creatures 2001, Historia 1997 and Women & Fiction 1995.
In the artist’s words
I am particularly interested in the ordering of nature in museums and textbooks, analyzing how nature is made safe and knowable by science. I am also exploring the dark side of our western response to nature: how we seek to control activity that displeases us. For example, we enjoy viewing insects when they are tidily pinned in glass cabinets at the museum of natural history, but how do we feel when they visit us uninvited? The cockroach in the pantry is not studied with detached curiosity; it has become the enemy.