Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Directions in My Art

It's been a year since I posted, so I thought you might enjoy an update on some of the new directions my art has been taking.

The Indians of Iowa

Currently, my priority is finishing up last bits for the "Indians of Iowa" book that will be published this year by the University of Iowa Press. It is a guide to the different tribes that lived in the state of Iowa, including their history, archaeology, and culture, as well as the contemporary situation. I also did the art for it. This is the piece I did for the cover.

The Lady in the Sand

My next project is completing the artwork (the story is done) for my experimental graphic story called "The Lady in the Sand," about a little boy and a beach burial in Hawai'i. Here are some images from that project.

Ioway Tribal Legends

Back in the 1980s (20 years ago!), I did a graphic treatment of an ancient Ioway story about the origins of one of my tribe's sacred societies, called Mankanye Washi (The Medicine Dance), which you can see here.

I started working recently again with a bilingual treatment of another of our traditional stories, called "The Sister and Brother." It was mainly aimed at helping tribal members preserve the language, which is almost extinct. It is a very grim, dark tale of a woman's unfaithfulness to her family with a bear, insanity, murder, cannibalism, and other not-very-nice-things. I am not sure how far I want to go with this story, but here is the first couple of pages.

Exploration of Sculpture and Assemblage

I have done a few sculptures in my time, small pieces, terra cotta and stone. But I haven't done anything really for too many years. I am interested in working in that direction again, and to get over the inertia, I have recently been playing with clay. This is the head of Taranis, a Celtic god of the Thunder (and me).