Regina artist teaches Prince Charles to make moose hide art
Plains Cree artist Judy Anderson gives His Royal Highness an arts and crafts lesson at London gala
A Plains Cree artist from Saskatchewan who was invited to teach at the Prince's School of Traditional Arts in London, England never imagined that one of her students would be His Royal Highness himself, but then Prince Charles sat down for a lesson on how to sew beads and porcupine quills on a moose hide.
"When he turned the corner, to come to where we were, I just went 'Uhhhh! There he is!'" said Judy Anderson, a Regina artist and professor. "Then I got very nervous and my heart was pounding."
The Prince of Wales was attending an event at the Dulwich Picture Gallery Tuesday night to celebrate a new exhibition dedicated to Emily Carr, a Canadian artist whose work was inspired by indigenous peoples and culture.
The Prince visited with students from the Emily Carr University in Canada, First Nations artists, Anderson and her students.
I got very nervous and my heart was pounding.- Judy Anderson, Regina artist
At one point, Prince Charles expressed interest in grabbing hold of some porcupine quills, giving Anderson a royal fright.
"He stuck his hand in there and it just scared me. 'No, don't do that! You could stick this in your finger and it won't come out!'" screamed Anderson, with a laugh, as she described what she wanted to shout - but didn't - at the Prince to stop him from stabbing himself with a quill.
"It would have been horrible if he'd actually been injured at my table."
Anderson, an associate professor of Indian Fine Arts at the First Nations University of Canada, was invited to take classes and teach at the Prince's school for eight weeks this fall. It's the first time aboriginal art and culture from Canada has been taught at the school, which is dedicated to traditional art forms from around the world.
In one of Anderson's first lectures, she introduced her students from Asia, Africa and the United Kingdom to making art with a moose hide.
"Everybody loves it. Everybody loves the smell. I don't know if you've smelled it before, but it has an incredibly smoky smell," explained Anderson.
Anderson's teaching exchange is part of a partnership that was struck after the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited the First Nations University in Regina during their whistle-stop Canadian tour in 2012.
Prince Charles' charity organization, Prince's Charities Canada, has made indigenous art a priority. It's funding several projects in Canadian aboriginal communities to strengthen the survival of traditional arts and crafts.