~Northern Lights’ Horse~
Program: Adobe Illustrator CS5
Many times I recall the story of White Buffalo Calf Woman and the differences in outcomes for people if they approach each other with respect. She also promised the people would survive and prosper if they followed the ceremonies and teachings she revealed.
This piece is homage to that thinking, that even in the depths of winter’s cold, the traditional teachings will help us through those hard times. The horse in this piece comes from my memories: visiting my tribe as a child, far away from the city lights, I remember looking up at the stars one night and seeing the faint Northern Lights. My older cousin told me if I whistled and sang, the lights would dance for us and so we did; the lights reacted!
Thus, that memory is also represented in this piece, as the horse carrying on that belief that we have a connection with the nations around us.
I decided to feature the body of water known to Americans as Devils Lake in two of my pieces; the name of my tribe is call Spirit Lake (North Dakota) and this is where we live; these are a homage to the long history of my Dakota people and my memories of my tribe. Both pieces contain the reflection of the horse and person; playing on the thought that what we do in life carries on with us during our journey in the afterlife.
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Horse Nation of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Exhibition
Location: Various locations (SD, MN) | Opening Date: September 2016
I created three pieces for this exhibition, inspired by my people's connection to the horse nation.
Inspired by the voices and perspectives of the Šúŋka Wakȟáŋ Oyáte (Horse Nation) gathered through community informed processes, we respectfully called on the Artists of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ to represent their culture, relatives, homelands, and Oyáte by contributing original, compelling artworks purely inspired by aesthetic, not commerce, in relation to and inspired by the “Horse Nation” of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ to be exhibited on behalf of the Ikčé Oyáte (Common Nation) of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ.
The exhibit will expand on the (2014) film made by Keith Brave Heart titled We Are A Horse Nation, about the Horse Nation of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ. It will present an authentic voice and positive perspective regarding the people of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ and their cultural relations and philosophies of the “Horse Nation.” It will also transform current curatorial processes; from a top-down institution-led practice to a grassroots, community-influenced process.