Monuments 2019 - 2020
This body of work is primarily a search for a visual language to express sacredness – to visually express my personal engagement with what I consider sacred. In this series, I use painting and sculpture to express my desires for wish fulfillment for certain circumstances, to pursue sympathetic magic, or to tell a narrative or visual story. I think of this body of work as 'monuments' to parts of my life, the lives of my ancestors, and the sacred touchstones that have been influential n my life.
Secondarily and in general, my work seeks to express the ambiguity I feel with my identity. A large part of my art practice deals with covert/overt Indian-ness, an ambiguous place that I occupy so my work occupies the same place as I do – not quite Indian, not quite White. Through my work I consider the concept of personal identity, and the loss of it, the passage of time, and the ambiguous identity of individuals and groups who occupy space inside an oppressive culture. Identity encompasses the memories, experiences, relationships, and values that create one’s sense of self. This amalgamation creates a steady sense of who one is over time, even as new facets are developed and incorporated into one's identity. The loss of this steady sense or the inability to create this steadiness is very painful.
My primary medium, oil painting, has been used for centuries as a tool of the oppressor and the colonizer. By considering the themes in my work through an intersectional lens, I am actively decolonizing this tool and appropriating it to immortalize and engage in visual language that expresses sacred themes that are or have been oppressed.