I am so pleased to be a part of this beautiful biennial Four by Four 2016: Midwest Invitational Exhibition. The Museum spotlighted one artist from four different states and I was honored to have been chosen for the state of Oklahoma. The exhibition is in its final weeks so I do hope if you have not had an opportunity to see the show that you find time. I have included the work that is apart of the exibition below.
WE NEED A HERO
Bronze and Patina
10′ x 12′ x 8.5″, 2015
This boy stands tall ready to defend his world. The airplanes representing his messages are going out into the world. These messages both large and small, some will survive and some will not go very far. The bombs represent messages that are incoming from both people and society on a daily basis. The blue bombs are just for practice and have no explosives while the white ones with a yellow ring indicates that they are highly explosive and may cause much destruction.
9’ x 12’ x 1.5”, 2016
While getting my children ready for school last fall we were pulling together pencils, folders, colored pencils and crayons. They had to have 4 sets of 24 crayons each and we had leftovers from sets of the past years, some colors had never been used, and we were combining them together so we’d know how many new boxes would be required. The kids were talking about their friends at the new school and friends of their past school. In the conversation they were describing the children “the girl with the yellow hair, the boy with the brown skin”, in a very causal descriptive manner with no malice to the differences. This made me think more on how we see people and how one is judged. The smell of the crayons, the vivid colors, and the thoughts of my youth brought me to this crayon project. How we change in our viewpoints of people, and how we judge people based on race and color. We are all one below that surface, that surface of skin, no matter the color, the shape, or the origin.
29″ x 22′ x 9″, 2015
It is the stories of family; history and identity that are what brought me to the piece “Bloodline”. It is a 22-foot long trail of history; where I came from as far back as I could trace my Native American bloodline to date. To be “on the Rolls” as an American Indian you have to prove a quantum of blood and trace that back through birth and death records until you match up to a name on the official “Dawes Rolls”. As I began walking backwards through the past to prove my blood, with the names and some faces I wanted to hear them speak and tell their story. I wanted them to be counted.
A storm took an old Locust tree down and that is the base for the figures to walk across. The tree is cut lengthwise so it exposes the rough center of the tree and the lines, the lines of the tree to show its history. I de-barked the exterior but kept the curve of the tree and its raw surface. The curve is mounted to the wall; the figures stand upon the top outer edge.
There are sections for each generation. The beginning section is with my own children. Though I only have 2 there are 5 figures. Each life is counted and the children that did not survive are remembered with a place on the wood in history their forms small and their heads bowed. From that I have my own section with my sisters and brother and then weave back and forth between my mother and fathers history. When hung the light casts a shadow of the figures on the wall, this shadow cast on the wall represents for me memory. Like a shadow these memories cannot be held, and in the end we are all only a shadow in history, shadows on this earth.
The Cigar Figures come from a Native American story of my childhood that my mother told of the “Stick People”. The “Stick People” would run through the night and call your name, she never described the figures and I was drawn to the idea of what they looked like for most of my life. The Cigar Figures are my reimagining of that story, now a story of family and my past. The figures are made of real cigars and found sticks. I create molds of the cigars and then cast them and the sticks in bronze. The faces are of the people from my past as far back as I can trace.
30” x 30”x 4.5”, 2016
Where do they come from? I can’t say. But I bet they have come a long, long way. Not one of them Is like another.
10.5” x 14.5” x 12.5”, 2015
How much is enough? If one is good today then 100 is better, we are overwhelmed by what we have yet we want for more. This girl stands atop of boxes of sugary cupcakes that are nothing more that empty, hollow treats.