Red Outside

Today I’ve set myself two challenges.

  1. Set up blogging from my phone
  2. Make a 9 square photo collage each day

So today, l looked for red things during my daily walk around my village.

It was amazing how it changed my awareness and the quality of my walk. It really slowed me down and made me look around and deeply see.

Day 1

Well, here goes the ‘Publish’ button.

From a distance

Well the world certainly has made a 180° turn in the past couple of weeks.

Here in the UK, as of last night, we are in lockdown.  This means that we need to stay at home, only going out to get food or to exercise.  I am frankly relieved that this has happened because so many people have been sanguine about going out and mingling and potentially spreading, or contracting, COVID-19.

To be honest, I am one of those people who enjoy spending most of my time at home, as does my husband.  He already works from home, so no change there, although he can no longer go out to meet clients and most of the conferences he was due to work on this year have been cancelled.

One of my jobs is Girl Friday for a small charity.  Last week I picked up my work desktop to begin home working.   I need to physically plug it in to our router via ethernet cable.  I brought a 2 meter one from work and we already have a 2 meter cable.  But there was a 2.5 meter gap between my workspace and our router.

I live in a small village on Dartmoor and put an appeal on our Community Facebook Hub.  Someone replied within 20 minutes and voila!  I collected a 3 meter cable the following morning, from their doorstep, of course, and I wiped the cable with anti-bac wipes and washed my hands when I got back home.

Remote working

This is the amazing thing in all of this.  That while we are understandably being made to seperate physically, we are finding and making connections and staying connected via social media.

I hope that all of you are staying safe and coping well in these very strange times.

SacRED Threads

My dress SacRED Threads is back home with me for a few weeks.

I made this dress just over a year ago and it has been in Minnesota, USA for most of 2019 in Bring Her Home: Stolen Daughters of Turtle IslandThis was a suite of exhibitions featuring works from emerging to established Indigenous artists highlighting the ongoing epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

“In light of the local movement to stop sexual exploitation and
the international #MMIW awareness campaign, Bring Her Home
shares visual stories of the impacted women and
families affected who resonate the plea,
“We just want to know where she is. We just want to bring her home.”

From my Artist’s Statement:

This piece reflects the cultural crossover between Native American communities by using imagery and iconic styles to create a synthesis from different Indigenous influences.

Although the dress style is representative of a collective Plains identity, the bodice and sleeves contain imagery that is meaningful to both Plains people and to my Mvskoke ancestors.  The representation of the Path of Souls and the Great Hand on the right hand sleeve are where our Ancestors dwell.

The pattern of the stars across the bodice echoes the elk tooth pattern in many Plains dresses and extends into a freer Milky Way pattern across the sleeves.

The four-square beads at the neck and at the bottom of the dress represent the Mvskoke concept of Harmony/Balance.

The red in the throat triangle is an aesthetic choice and a personal symbol of me finding my voice, both as an artist and a Mvskoke woman.

It is through our bloodline that we discover, claim and reaffirm our Native identity.  The photographs at the bottom of the dress were chosen to represent all Native women.  These women embody the strength and endurance of Indigenous women and the resilience of our Ancestors.

The piece recognizes a darker side of shared Native American experience:  Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

The figures on the belt drop are witness to over five hundred years of violence and murder perpetrated against Indigenous North American women, the red hand painted over the mouth being used to reference this issue today:  hidden but not silenced.

As well as acknowledging the bloodline and ongoing resilience of Native women, SacRED Threads reminds us that the targeting of Indigenous women has been ongoing throughout the period of Settler Colonization.

From 1st May 2020 SacRED Threads will be shown at Museum Volkenkunde, in Leiden, in the Netherlands. Their exhibition – First Americans: Honouring indigenous Resilience and Creativity – marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from that city.

The exhibition will form a major part of Leiden 400,  Leiden’s commemoration of the sailing, and its impact on indigenous peoples.

It represents the themes of contrasting histories, resilience, community and the future, with an emphasis on indigenous self-representation.

How different to the celebratory tone that marks Plymouth 400.