Beth Torbert born June 15, is an Indo-Canadian singer-songwriter , actress , and motivational speaker best known by her stage name Bif Naked. Bif Naked was born in New Delhi to teenage parents attending private school. She was subsequently adopted by American missionaries. After living for a time in Dauphin , Manitoba , her family eventually settled in Winnipeg. The name "Bif" started as a nickname based on the mispronunciation of her real name, Beth. In she toured across Canada,  including a performance in Toronto with Birth Through Knowledge.
Portrayals of women feature prominently in the work of Montreal painter Prudence Heward — In At the Theatre , , she depicted women in a public place unaccompanied by men, reflecting the growing independence of women in the s. In her portrait of Montreal dancer Louise McLea, Girl on a Hill , , Heward positions herself as a modern artist presenting modern subjects. As curator Charles C. Whether this interest was primarily formal in that painting black women allowed her to experiment with different colours of paint , altruistic calling attention to issues of race in Canadian society , a result of the availability of black models in early twentieth-century Montreal many of whom worked as domestics and needed the additional money , or a combination of these factors, art historians have perceived these works in a range of ways. As some scholars have noted, the buildings in the background indicate a working-class part of Montreal, thus revealing the poverty experienced by many black women in the s and s. Nelson notes that in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, white Canadian artists sometimes painted black women who worked as domestics and as models in art schools and community centres.
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Of all her work, Girl Under a Tree , , was a personal favourite of the Montreal-born artist Prudence Heward ; it was the only one of her own paintings she hung in her bedroom. After her death in , the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, organized a memorial exhibition of her work, which toured across the country. The female subject is integrated into the landscape, a type of depiction that fellow Montreal painter Edwin Holgate — became well known for in works such as The Bathers , Nevertheless, according to Group of Seven painter A. When the painting was included in the December Group of Seven exhibition, it inspired commentary, even some controversy, but not scandal. This is likely because a nude in a landscape struck contemporary viewers as justified, or at least understandable, whereas a naked model in a studio struck them as gratuitous and unnecessary.
Thomas takes inspiration from multiple art forms, movements and histories, like Impressionism, and focuses on issues such as race, representation, sexuality and Black celebrity culture. As a Black woman, it is the first time I have ever walked the floors of the AGO and have seen myself reflected back at me. Blackness in Canada has often been framed through an African-American lens.