The boarding schools cut the hair and stole the language of Native American children. But inside, they were still there. My sister lost her hair to cancer and people stopped making eye contact, leaving her to feel invisible. But she was still there. The old tree was cut down, but its power to lead to the spirit world is still there. Through everything, they whisper, “I’m still here.”
My work attempts to explore what lies beneath or in the shadows. I am intrigued with the power of these shadows in our lives and how they haunt us or make us doubt our reality, at times even terrorizing us. I consciously incorporate shadows in my work by controlling the lighting and relationships of the figures, giving form to the secrets that linger in our lives.
As children, we make and wear masks to become anything we want or need to be. We can do anything in them, from being a super hero to a bird in flight. As adults, the layers and meaning of masks deepen and grow. They are a way to represent the different personas that we need or desire to be in life. Masks are an identity that one can live through or hide behind.
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Collection of: Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, Indiana