Consider that we are made up of the memories of the past, and understand that we carry these memories with us: in my studio process I choose to take these memories and create art out of them. This action and ritual is a spiritual endeavor, and the process of making gives me an identity and ancestral connection for I wish to learn how to make objects in order to have a better understanding of who my ancestors were and how perhaps how I am similar to them. This is my attempt to create work that re-contextualizes the sense of the sacred and the ritual object.
The clarity with choosing to make coil pots, and not focus on drawings and paintings gave me time to consider what I was creating. There is a delicate strength within the handling of the coil pots and a healing that takes place within the making of them. I started to think about the elements of my own experience, of my artistic training, the learning of my native languages, of ancestral knowledge lost and gained.
I began to research Native American photographs that were professionally taken with staged ceremonial objects and backdrops, where the knowledge of who they were and what exact culture they came from was never recorded, thus now they are archived as "Unidentified". I have felt a kinship and strong fascination to these "Unidentified" photographs as being possibly connected to who I am culturally. Connected not in the literal sense, but in the idea that they had lost their cultural and genetic identity through a history of assimilation and so had I.
I have chosen to obscure the identity of the person photographed beneath the encaustic surface and have chosen to place it behind the coil pot layered with its same skin in order create intricate reliquaries that together hold within them a sacred space.