Dreaming MoonWhite Spruce, Artist Oils, Domestic Duck Feathers, Artificial Sinew
Never Still MoonWhite Spruce, Artist Oils, Domestic Duck Feathers, Artificial Sinew
Raven MaskWhite Spruce, Hickory, Artist Oils, Human Hair, Domestic Goose Feathers, Beads, Faux Sinew, Thread
Yellow Singer MaskYellow Cedar, Hickory, Glass Beads, Domestic Turkey Feathers, Artificial Sinew
The Skeptic MaskBirch, Bamboo, Hickory, Domestic Duck Feathers, Cotton Embroidery Thread
Kodiak MoonWhite Spruce, Artist Oils, Domestic Duck Feathers, Artificial Sinew
Having been an artist all my life, working in several mediums, but most notably black and white photography and wood sculpture, I find myself total absorbed in the expression of my Alaska Native identity. I carve traditionally based Sugpiaq Alutiiq masks. Their form and shape are deeply rooted in the rich material culture of Kodiak Island and for me, they are a celebration of belonging, producing a deep sense of pride in being Sugpiaq. The masks have proven to be a means and method of transformation and as an artist they give me license to move and change time, place, being and even worlds.
I take great inspiration from everyday life and the rich mix of emotions that I have experienced throughout my lifetime. Simple things like getting along, self-perception, gender relationships and nature’s cycles are all subjects I explore. In addition, Sugpiaq legends, beliefs and stories serve as a never-ending inspiration for work.
I produce my work from a variety of woods and materials but my preference in wood is white spruce. The best wood comes from the stump where the grain flares and produces a rich and unpredictable pattern moving in all directions. My tools are straightforward: gouges, crooked knives, sandpaper, oil paints and brushes and like my ancestors, I use the best available. The average mask might take several weeks and on occasion, months to produce.