I’m frantically trying to get everything ready tonight so I can get up early, get downtown, pick up my rental car, go to work, and then make a quick pit stop at home to grab my things and hit the road after work tomorrow. Since I can’t handle an all-night drive to California any longer, I found an inexpensive room in Eugene where I can crash for the night and then make the final trek down to Arcata on Thursday. There’s been a lot going on with work, life, art, and design commitments lately. Don’t get me wrong, these are good things! But I can tell it is starting to take a toll. Once I get through tomorrow though, I’ll have four days off from work and hopefully the trip will be fun and mildly restful. Planning on getting home Saturday night and then Bryn leaves on business for a week the next day.
But in the midst of my frantic preparations, I found the above image which is providing a moment of calm. A good friend had taken myself and another good friend up to a rooftop garden in downtown Seattle for lunch a couple of weeks ago and this was the view. Well, this was part of the view… It was much more panoramic with the city on both sides and a giant building right behind. This image looks west at Elliot Bay and the rooftop garden of a penthouse condo at our local Four Seasons Hotel. I took Bryn here just this past Friday when it was sunny and the view was magnificent! Instead of the fog, you could see the Olympic mountains. Then, to the south you could see Mount Rainier.
I’m looking forward to the drive and seeing the redwood forests and some new mountains I don’t usually see. Now to finish laundry, packing, and tracking down all the accessories I need to bring along with me!
So here’s the official image for the new exhibit that opens this week. I’m driving down for the opening this Thursday, I believe it is from 5pm – 7pm if I remember correctly? I’ll be there for two nights and then heading home on Saturday. Below is text from the Curatorial Statement (via Julian Lang):
Northwest California possesses a great diversity of biology and geography. Within this abundance evolved a unique indigenous cultural belief system which spread from ancient village to ancient village until it became the accepted spiritual practice of the whole region. A cycle of living myths told in 6 or more different languages defined cultural institutions, the meaning of objects and sacred places which together directly connects the people with the geography: the Karuk, Yurok, Hupa, Wiyot, Coastal Yurok, Tolowa, Redwood Creek, Ts’nungwe, and the Shasta. From the highest peaks to the deepest riverine canyons this great diversity has been defined by a unified cultural vision that is known today as Fixing the Earth.
Fixing the Earth: NOW! is both an imperative and a declaration–it’s an exhibition that asks Native artists to consider how this age-old indigenous spiritual practice inspires their art. The question is asked of both the professional artist and the new emerging artist. It is an experiment long past due and explores the premise that while art relates to an evolution of aesthetic ideals through history, the power of art is its ability to create shared visions and to make visible the invisible.
Local Native history reflects the violence and oppression that was spawned by the notions of imminent domain, western expansion, land bridges, and colonialism. Since contact Native peoples were forced to live apart in segregated communities. Locally tribal peoples were left to reclaim their pre-contact lives while luckily also continuing to live in their ancestral homelands. The land here is mountainous and rugged. The survivors rebuilt culturally, physically and spiritually as best tas was possible at ancient village sites located on the Smith, the Scott, the Klamath, the Salmon, the Trinity, the New and Eel rivers and the many creeks and streams, some of which flow as large as rivers in wintertime.
Today Fixing the Earth is the descriptive name for the annual and bi-annual local ceremonial practice during which the natural world is remade. It is ancient in origin and currently practiced by many. The primary purpose of the rituals and ceremonies is to remake, to repair, and reset the earth onto its prop (in the sense of a boat being moored to a post). A cycle of creation stories defines the act as the way to rid the world of sickness, to put the natural world into balance, to honor the ancestors, and to ritually remake the natural world according to original instructions handed down over the generations. The White Deerskin dance is a major World Renewal ceremony. The albino deer are present-day reminders of the spiritual world and our connections with that world. The woodpecker scarlet headdresses and baskets of the Jump Dance allow us to affirm our connection with the other side.
Fixing the Earth: NOW! is the beginning of a process to periodically challenge our local Native artists to look to our principal indigenous spiritual belief for inspiration. The curators wonder ‘what might artists come up with when challenged to create artwork that was motivated by the fix the earth philosophy? Can the Fixing the Earth sensibility be conveyed? Are there universal aspects that resonate with the local, non-Native audiences?’ Only time can tell.
Haven’t had a chance to post here as I’ve been fairly busy lately, but all is well and I’ve got various irons in the fire. The image above was from a recent group of photos I was taking at the beach at Lincoln Park nearby for a design project. I took Robohontas along and got a few interesting images of her, which was nice. It was also good to visit the park and roam the beach. I specifically was trying to get useful images of the Salish Sea/Puget Sound. Pretty cold, and I did get my feet soaked when I was trying to get these images of Robohontas in the water; but, it was worth it! Also, I’m going to have to spend more time there seeing as how it is so close to home.
Next week I’ll be heading down to California mid-week for the opening of a group show which I’m looking forward to. I’ve also started a new website at lookingndn.com (because I didn’t have enough going on?) as the seed for a new project. But more on that later, I’m already behind schedule for the day…
I’ve been working on something new since last week. It’s taking more time than I had thought it would, but I’m still excited about it. I started this as a submission for a show about race at the Wing Luke Asian Art Museum. Even though it isn’t finished, I’m going to submit as a work in progress and see what happens. If you can’t tell, the final form of the work is an American flag. The white stripes have text written from comments on blog posts, threads, and emails posted online. All of the text is related to and critical of Native Americans. I’m going to pull out selected phrases and write them larger (in red) on the red stripes, which is also where the title of this post comes from. It is also the working title of the piece.
The image above is of components unassembled. It is looking more together right now, but as I am hand-stitching all of the pieces together, it is still unfinished. Good to be making new work and looking forward to February since I have art in two shows that open this month!