Transformation Thunderbird

Transformation Thunderbird is a piece that was developed and executed collaboratively by Tina Kuckkahn-Miller (Ojibwe), Director of the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College, Laura Grabhorn (Tlingit/ Haida), Longhouse Assistant Director, Linley Logan (Seneca), Longhouse Northwest Heritage Programs Director, and myself, Erin Genia (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) Longhouse Program Coordinator in 2014. It is made of wool felt, dentalium, mother of pearl, copper jingles, fabric, ribbon, glazed ceramic, plaster of paris and wood pulp, acrylic, cedar, pipestone, and hematite. 
Here is our artist's statement: Transformation Thunderbird is a collaboration of the staff team of The Evergreen State College Longhouse. In addition to being the iconic representation of the Longhouse itself, the Thunderbird is a part of each of our cultures. Thunder comes from the wings of the Dakota Wakinyan, and their piercing eyes shoot lightning – inlaid pipestone conveys that our vision is guided by the people. The copper jingles represent healing and the seven teachings of the Anishinaabe: Truth, Humility, Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery and Honesty. The button robe is traditionally a garment that tells others what family the wearer is from. In this instance the robe represents many people and multiple connections we have at the Longhouse and across the Pacific. The waves represent the ocean connecting indigenous cultures along the Pacific Rim. Transformation is innate to an Indigenous world view, and this piece embraces the transformation and growth of relationships over time. 
This piece was exhibited at the biennial Maori Market in Wellington, New Zealand in November of 2014. It also appeared in the exhibition, "Building for the Future" at the Evergreen Gallery in Winter 2015, and is now a part of the permanent collection at the Evergreen State College Longhouse.

"Transformation Thunderbird" is now being installed at the Washington State History Museum for the annual juried show, "In the Spirit: Contemporary Northwest Native Arts Exhibition" where it will be on view this summer. 

No comments:

Post a Comment