IACA Journal, Summer 2014 - page 9

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We are constantly reminded in our ever
evolving environment, that many inspi-
rational ideas can be conceived through
the simplest of notions.
As far as I can remember, the impor-
tance of creativity and Wabanaki Culture
have been significant to myself and my
family’s lives. The knowledge of what a
three-dimensional form is was taught to
me at an early age.
The use of plaster and plaster gauze came
to me when experimenting with plaster
dip fabric. I found the frozen contours
of the dry plastered fabric so beautiful; a
sense that the object has been petrified
and shot still forever. The idea of the hu-
man form came to me while experiment-
ing with plaster gauze. Redefining the
human form and placing it in a moment
of random instance and petrifying emo-
tion. Even though I am a Native artist,
I want my work to speak to the viewer,
encouraging open interpretation of the
installation, despite cultural background.
Assimilation Revisited,
by Max Romero,
2011, Plaster of Paris, plaster gauze,
chicken netting, plastered dip clothing,
chair, spray paint, florescent lights. On
loan from the artist.
by Rhonda Besaw,
2011,wool felt, glass beads. Abbe Museum
Beadwork designs that are influenced by
the world around me, such as mountains
or medicine plants, keep me observant,
grounded and grateful to Mother Earth.
Every stitch becomes a prayer of thanks-
giving to my ancestors and the Creator.
My needle just flies when making such
a project! These designs are the most
powerful; the physical manifestation of
spirit captured in bits of glass and cloth.
Although my unique purses are not
reproductions, they are made in the
same manner and style as the old
ones. Through this mix of old and new,
traditional and contemporary, I hope to
honor those who have gone before me
and give to those in the future.
I have been an artist my entire life. Even
at a young age I was intrigued by art; Na-
tive art in particular. Being Penobscot,
I had seen baskets in museums and in
the homes of my family, and was always
fascinated by them.
Although I am using traditional material
and techniques, my style comes from
the place I live today, in this modern
by Sarah Sockbeson, 2011, brown ash, sweetgrass, birchbark, acrylic, dyes. Abbe
Museum collections.
society. Basketry, to me, is a fine art, and
in order for the tradition to survive, it
must evolve. It is important for my work
to appeal to a modern audience, while
still remaining true to cultural traditions.
It is personally important to me, not just
as an artist, but also as a Native Ameri-
can, to create art that will inspire future
generations, and keep the tradition of
basketry alive.
As for my inspiration, I look to the past,
present and future. I have a responsibility
to honor my ancestors that have practiced
the art of basketry long before I was alive,
to ensure that it is not lost or forgotten.
As I weave, it is almost like having a spiri-
tual connection with the past.
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