Blue and Red (Where Little Bear Learned to Hide From the Sun)

Merino Wool, Cedar Bark, Framing
  |  
  |   $12,500

“My mother was a Chilkat ceremonial regalia maker, and now I am one too. Weaving regalia for ceremony can be a heavy responsibility, as a finished robe embodies generations of ancestral knowledge and hundreds of hours of technical labor. At the same time, it is a great honor to be the instrument through which our ancestors speak their stories and dreams.

One of the most influential mentors in my life has been Cecil Touchon, who is a non-Indigenous American contemporary artist and theorist. Cecil was a close friend of my family and spent many studio hours training us in the art of collage. He encouraged us to collage on watercolor paper with large blank margins on all sides, and to work intuitively, simply, and quickly. Collage work became a fun family pasttime growing up, and allowed us a regular practice in traversing the present moment, outside of ancestral tradition or the weight of preparing for ceremony. It was another way to bring together my family of mixed heritage and culture.

In Blue and Red, I use my primary art medium of Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving of my Tlingit homelands to depict an abstract contemporary “collage” on woven “watercolor paper” with large margins and my signature “signed” on the bottom edge. Instead of three hours of cutting and pasting, this weaving took over 50 hours from start to finish. I honor my greatest influences, from both within and without my Indigenous heritage, respecting the profoundly valuable lessons they both have offered me. “Blue and Red” tells a story about the contemporary Indigenous present.”

– Ursala Hudson