I’ve been very delinquent on updating this portion of my website, oops. Back in October of last year, I spent the month backpacking and camping throughout the SW high desert with Signal Fire, an organization that strives to connect creative individuals with wild spaces, public lands, and the ecological and cultural narratives that converge within those landscapes. Along with 10 other artists, I learned about the ecological diversity of these biomes, the resilience of those who have inhabited these territories for thousands of years, and the problems Indigenous communities today face due to extractive interests on Native lands.
As heart breaking as it was to see the devastating effects of mining, oil drilling, and uranium interests near or on Indigenous reservation lands firsthand, it was amazing and humbling to see the resilience and resolve of these communities to protect the lands they’ve walked for generations. As an Indigenous individual myself, I found a lot of strength in these communities and found it inspiring to see their determination for a more sustainable and just path forward.
Overall, this experience making in, thinking about, and moving through these landscapes was an immense fuel for my practice and continues to be. I have become increasingly interested in the environmental issues faced by other Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, and have begun a series of mixed-media paintings on the subject to reflect on my time spent in the southwest and speaking with Native elders there.
I highly recommend checking out Signal Fire’s website for more information on who they are, what they do, and their upcoming programming for 2019. They just released their list of residencies and wide open studios, more info here.
And, of course, this isn’t the end. To more good things in this next lunar year ~
(all images except last: credit Ryan Pierce, Signal Fire Arts)