Emily Davidson is a white settler artist, activist and graphic designer based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia). Her artistic practice uses printmaking as an entry point to investigate histories, imagine new futures, and agitate for social justice causes. Her current research / creation focuses on the entangled relationship of print media in historic and ongoing colonization of Indigenous lands across Turtle Island and interrogates and the role printers played in Transatlantic Slavery in the territories that became Canada. Emily graduated from NSCAD University in 2009 (BFA, Interdisciplinary) and is a current MFA candidate at NSCAD. Emily is a Research Assistant at the Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery, NSCAD University.
Walking Mi’kma’ki is a collaborative project that traced the word Mi’kma’ki onto the colonial streets of Halifax through walking. Collaboration with Sarah Brooks, Tania Fuentes Villa, Megan Hosmer, Fayrouz Ibriahim, Hana Kujawa, Colleen MacIsaac, Claire Tallarico, Rena Thomas, and Sydney Wreaks. Developed in MFAR-6350-1 Practicing Land Acknowledgement / MAED-6350 Museum & Curatorial taught by Leah Decter and Carla Taunton, NSCAD University.
PUBLIC 64 Territory Network
Artist pages published in PUBLIC 64: Beyond Unsettling, guest editors Leah Decter and Carla Taunton.
PUBLIC 64 Territory Network traces the chain of production of the magazine it is published in and identifies Indigenous territories where activity related to this publication took place. The complex network required to produce an offset printed publication extends far beyond the conception of place and land normally attributed to the production of objects under neoliberal colonial capitalism. This piece expands the notion of land acknowledgement, aiming to visualize the way Indigenous lands are interconnected in everyday objects and experiences–often through ongoing violent disposition of Indigenous lands by settler-colonial states and corporations.
Unsettling the Archives of the Inner City Artists’ Commune
Letterpress, screenprinting, drawing on paper, 6×4 feet, 2021
This work revisits to my 2013 piece Another World: Archives of the Inner City Artists’ Commune, which proposed a post-capitalist future where a group of artists survive by substance farming the land of Citadel Hill and the Halifax Commons. In this new iteration, I tackle the settler certainty that was conceptually central to the development of the original work. The reimagined piece asserts that ethical settler futures can only begin when settlers return stolen land to Indigenous nations. Presented in embodied futures as part of NSCAD University radical curating 2021.
Letterpress on paper and sign vinyl, 2020. Installed in the windows of the Dawson Printshop at NSCAD University for unpunctuated: NSCAD MFA Group Show.
Glenora Zine: amiskwaciwâskahikan ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ, Treaty 6 Territory
This co-authored zine by Ana Smith and Emily Davidson was produced through the Mitchell Art Gallery Exchange Mentor Program. Artists Dana Belcourt and Autumn also contributed pages to this publication.
New Nova Scotia Views
Photopolymer letterpress and watercolour on paper, 2020. Installed in Gut Feeling at Dalhousie Art Gallery, curated by Angela Glanzmann and Wes Johnson. See the The Coast and Visual Arts News for reviews of the exhibition.
New Nova Scotia Views is a collaborative project with Elyse Moir. This project reworks Gerarld Ferguson’s 1984 series Landscapes and Seascapes by responding to the conceptual painting practice undertaken by Ferguson and Gerard Collins that created a painting series based on landscapes postcards of Nova Scotia. This project interrogates the original work by repeating a similar conceptual process—hired collaborators paint landscape postcards—but focuses more keenly on the artists as workers. Our project adds the concepts of fair compensation and shared credit to the original conversation on authorship.
Overdyed yarn installation, 2019. Installed in Not Everybody* Is a Painter: MFA Group Show, Anna Leonowens Gallery. See process documentation on Instagram.
How It’s Made
Digitally printed wallpaper, 2018. Installed in Unpacking the Living Room, MSVU Art Gallery, Halifax NS. Exhibition curated by Dr. Julie Hollenbach. See the online exhibition catalogue and project Instagram for more details.
Digitally printed signage installation, 2015. Installed in Detournments, Artcite Inc, Windsor ON. Curated by Andrea Slavik.
Another World: Archives of the Inner City Artists’ Commune
Letterpress and screen prints, 2013. Exhibited in Activist Ink, MSVU Art Gallery, Halifax NS, curated by Ingrid Jenkner and Posts and Pillars, XPACE, Toronto ON, curated by Jennifer Simaitis and Stefan Hancherow. See The Coast and Halifax Media Coop for press about the work.
Watercolour on paper, 2016. Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery, Halifax NS, curated by Robin Metcalfe.
Agitate, Educate, Organize
Letterpress installation, 2012. Khyber Centre for the Arts, Halifax NS. See The Coast for press about the work.