Artist Statement

 
 

ARTIST STATEMENT

My work explores the construction of culture and ceremony as outcomes of the need to tie one’s existence to the land. My heritage as a member of the Tongva tribe in Los Angeles connects me deeply to the landscape of California. I am interested in the problematics of living in a place that once belonged to your ancestors, a place you feel connected to, yet have lost access to. Our tribe has no federal recognition, and therefore no reservation land and no gathering place. This lack of physical space to congregate in and use for ceremony creates a collection of individuals constantly challenging and grappling with authenticity and inclusion/exclusion from the larger group. By working in landscapes I am connected to, I engage ideas of authenticity, ceremony and community. 

Using my practice to re-open portals of memory and to reconnect with my ancestors.  I create humble ceremonial interventions in the landscape and sculptural installations which become visions of the night sky in the gallery space. Creating a narrative that mixes fact and fiction in order to tell a new story, I believe that the imagined can be equally as powerful as fact. Assimilation, time, Los Angeles, death, shame: they have all worked to gnaw holes in my cultural heritage. My work is a product of weaving back together the loose ends that have been passed down to me, filling in the cracks with mud, yarn, concrete and cinnamon and making a new whole.