Artist Spotlight: India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner, Performative Tree

India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner, Performative Tree. Photo by BeNjamyn Upshaw-Ruffner

India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner is a Black bi-racial artist, writer, curator and cultural worker from  Montreal. She is currently completing her BFA in Art History and Studio Arts at Concordia  University.

India-Lynn has previously had her writing published in the FOFA Gallery’s Undergraduate Student Exhibition Journal (USE) 2021. Most recently, her work has been shown at Fais-moi l’art gallery in May 2023 in a co-curated exhibition called “Tenderly Reminiscing.” India-Lynn was also a  facilitator/curator for the 2022 Art Matters Festival. She was the artistic and community alliances coordinator at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse throughout 2022, producing La Centrale’s first digital publication, “[espace variable | placeholder]”. She is now a happy librarian and admin/finance coordinator at the Fine Arts Reading Room of Concordia University.

India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner, Performative Tree. Photo by BeNjamyn Upshaw-Ruffner

I walked around downtown Montreal with a small tree (money plant) in my backpack, and wore plant netting and gardening gloves. It is a commentary on urban planning and its lack of care for trees, reinserting them into cities for aesthetics rather than for their true purpose. I’m employing a playful take on the commodification of nature, asking what it means when I become a tree and wear nature as an accessory. 

India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner
India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner, Performative Tree. Photo by BeNjamyn Upshaw-Ruffner
India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner, Performative Tree. Photo by BeNjamyn Upshaw-Ruffner
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