I was born nearly deaf. I was born Native American. I was born in America. I was born in the lower spectrum of the social class ladder. My work is a result of these experiences.
The treatment of the Native American in their own land is nothing new. From the arrival of Columbus to the beginning of the civilization process under Washington, from the Battle of Wounded Knee to the recent treatment of Native Americans during the protests at Standing Rock. Concerning the issue of assimilation, for me, that begins with my grandfather and has played a major role in shaping the style and content of my work.
My grandfather was sent to a boarding school at a young age and was forced to learn a new language along with a foreign way of living. He was made to believe in a single god (whose only purpose was to keep him tame and walking in a straight line). He was made to believe that a military he was fighting with had always been on his side. He lived in an era of mass consumption and propaganda. An era with thought conditioning methods which have expanded to monstrous proportions to this day. He went on to become a Baptist preacher and began to instill this form of thought into his seed.
Being exposed to the church and other forms of thought such as palmistry, astrology, Freemasonry, and the tarot, I was never exposed to the traditional history of my culture. Being raised in a society obsessed with narcissism, over consumption, and immediacy, mostly due to the constant propaganda being repeated over and over by the different forms of media, I have no choice but to educate myself on my cultural heritage, traditions, and history. I have been systemically cut off from my culture.
The lines, shapes, colors, numbers, and letters along with the speed in which my work is done tie in to my experience regarding conflicted spirituality, cultural isolation, over consumption, and being deaf. This is a concept I have pieced together titled Dead Feather.
Dead Feather’s work was featured in our exhibition Inclusion in Art at The Art Hall, December 7, 2018 through March 31, 2019.