The Artistic language I speak with is a creative expression of the natural world’s strength, and the origin of our birth from these life giving forces of nature being the spirit of life. My creative language reflects the environment that contributes to the experience of our life's journey. The diversity of these experiences are complimented by a broad range of traditional, natural, social, political, economic and lived perspective interpreted creatively.
There is an overlying message weaving my creative language together anecdotally to the thread of life tying us to our past. This woven thread of life tying us to our past acknowledges the power of identity in the spirit of living culture.
I am inspired that these messages come from deep within a confident culturally grounded spirit creatively expressed as beyond the mundane in line and form to reveal a perspective of a real dimension in human intellect (Ongwhehoweh in Seneca translates as, “We are the Real People”).
I give thanks for the opportunity in experiencing a doorway of perception from which an aspect of our peoples’ perspective past is the thread for future cultural continuity. In my life, cultural artistic expression reflects the dynamics of a contemporary lived experience while continuing in philosophy to symbolize a foundation of core cultural values. Contemporary artistic expression provides me with a creative language to challenge static stereotypes of Native American culture and conceptualize beyond the boundaries and perceptions of our lived experience.
My artistic intent is to focus on being more artistic perspective eye opening in impacting the creative field of public perception in the arts of our culture, and my life of culture in our arts.
We each define art in our own way. For me, having grown up in a traditional community, I am very confident in my Seneca identity. I am confident in not having to identify myself through my art based on the strongest stereotypical or romantic images that infer a Native identity. I can go beyond perceptions of the typical artistic identity espoused because I know who I am, but I know I am merely on the cusp of more reality. There is a thread that connects me to the past which defines my present and creatively imagines my future. I am confident in articulating an artistic expressive language as a Seneca into the future because I posses confident knowledge of my cultural foundation. When you don't have to build bridges you can create what's on the other side of reality.
I assert that we used whatever materials we had access to in the past which were limited to natural resources. I assert we continue to employ this same creative statement in creating with whatever materials we have access to this day. My point is that access to natural resource material is limited (e.g., Eagle feathers are not easily accessible) if access is denied or complicated to the point of managing access to these resources, do we discontinue being creative, or do we seek alternative forms of expression to continue to assert our creativity. I continue to assert my creativity can not be defined by my lack of access to natural resource materials.
The context of my work is based in the foundation of intellectualization in the abstraction of imagery to convey fundamental Ongwehohnweh/Haudenosaunee cultural concepts. Our visual expressive language is a fundamental and very intellectual yet basic/simplified visual form of expression, it is the abstract visual interpretation and intellectualization of cultural concepts. Our fundamental embracing of abstract imagery utilized to express complex philosophy predates contact.