At the heart of my practice, I am an interdisciplinary artist. My work is informed by my heritage as a mixed indigenous person. I combine what does not belong together such as metal with ceramics, industrial with organic, and digital with traditional. This drive to mix and have my work be part of two opposing forces stems from a desire to queer objects. Through queering I resolve cognitive dissonance.
I use metal, clay, and glass because it makes me feel gay. Through heat, you can transform these materials into something new. The process of ceramics feels like hormone replacement therapy for mud. It is magical.
I use metal mainly to display my sculptures because it is strong and welding makes me feel masculine. The way an object is displayed changes the mood and how the sculpture is read. For example, in ‘Hella Gay’ I displayed the 60 pound ceramic sculpture by suspending it upside down in a metal structure. This caused the audience to feel anxiety about if it would fall. For the ‘Shoe’ installation I made a structure that could hold a hundred shoes but still look graceful.
I am interested in exploring the material honest of ceramic, metal, and glass in my sculptures.
Ironically as a visual artist I am drawn to spoken languages. My artistic inspiration comes from Runa Simi (a native Andean language) and I base many of my creative decisions based on grammar rules. While my grandparents would prefer I study the word of God, I strive through my art to show them the beauty of their mother tongue. It is important to me to pass on Iñupiaq and Runa Simi to my younger cousins and children. Through my art I want to ensure that our culture will not be whitewashed away, and that my grandparents will live knowing that their mother tongue has been passed on to the next generation.
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