She Left for Good One Time, but Came Back
August 15 – September 12, 2014
Gannon Gallery/BSC Library
Reception: Thursday, September 4, 2014, 4-6 p.m.
Artist Talk – 5:30 p.m.
“She Left for Good One Time, but Came Back” is a series of 53 paintings by North Dakota native Shelly Julian Bunde. The collaged works depict one fictional (but familiar) woman for every county in North Dakota and include a short biographical sketch — the sort of tidbit one might recall about a character from one’s childhood. The paintings are collaged with pieces of North Dakota road maps, vintage fabric, and other tidbits.
In the paintings, every woman or girl but one is identified by her husband’s, grandfather’s, father’s, or even father-in-law’s name. Bunde recalls that when she was a girl, women were regularly addressed by, and addressed themselves by, their husband’s name. Growing up in North Dakota in the 1970s, Bunde says she was unaware of the women’s movement happening at that time, but observed that her mother and the women around her were extremely competent and hard-working, busy raising children, doing heavy chores and, in their “spare” time, running clubs and making crafts of every imaginable kind. Still, recipes submitted to the church cookbook were credited to the likes of “Mrs. Lyle Olson.” It was puzzling to her as a girl.
Bunde tries to bring the woman’s story into the foreground, just a little — but not too much, remembering that most of the women she knew would not likely have drawn attention to themselves.
Shelly Julian Bunde now lives in Bozeman, Montana. For more information, visit www.shellybunde.com.