Coy wolves. Textile over taxidermy forms, found fur and accessories. A\J Coy Wolves 2010. Textile over taxidermy forms, found fur and accessories. By Janice Wright Cheney.

Research confirms that coyotes in New Brunswick have bred with wolves, which explains why they are considerably larger than their Western cousins. Some biologists suggest that we are witnessing the evolution of a new species, a successful hybrid of coyote and wolf, thus “coywolf”. What interests me is the concept that the wolf, supposedly long vanished from our region, has actually returned in the disguise of a coyote.

Using taxidermy forms, luxurious velvets and brocades, furs and jewels, I have created a version of this wolf-coyote, an animal that is an expert in matters of disguise, a consummate trickster.

Lift up the latch and come in my darling.
Grandma! What big eyes you have. 

For more on coywolves, check out "Meet the Coywolf" on CBC. For more on Janice Wright Cheney's work, visit her website.

The work of Janice Wright Cheney — whose textile-based practice explores themes pertaining to natural history and domestic labour — has been shown both nationally and internationally. Most recently, her solo exhibition Cellar (2012) was at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton; the exhibition will travel to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax) in 2013. 

Her work is in the collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the New Brunswick Museum, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. She has received numerous creation grants from the New Brunswick Arts Board and The Canada Council for the Arts. She was the 2004 recipient of the prestigious Strathbutler Award for Excellence in the Arts, and has been elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (2010). Wright Cheney was among artists selected for Oh, Canada, a survey of contemporary Canadian art, held at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, 2012.

Janice Wright Cheney graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1983, and completed a MEd in Critical Studies at UNB (2003). Wright Cheney lives in Fredericton, where she teaches at the New Brunswick College of Craft & Design.

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