Dyani White Hawk
As a woman of Lakota and European ancestry, raised among Native communities within urban American environments, I make work that explores cross-cultural intersections. Competing value systems are interwoven on canvas, as the history and aesthetics of Lakota bead and porcupine quillwork mingle with references to modern abstract painting. Lakota philosophy and worldview is represented through symbolism and embodied in mediums historically used in Lakota art forms. When fused with mediums and motifs drawn from modern abstraction, the inherent concepts are abstracted, rearranged, reconstructed. I combine my varied experiences, passions, and training to create honest and inclusive compositions that recognize the complexity and dynamic nature of self and culture. The works address an imbalance in mainstream art and general education systems, which more often than not diminish the contributions of indigenous art forms and the realities of our national history. Simultaneously, they acknowledge the intersections, inspirations, and blessings these interwoven histories have on one another—serving as journeys through the history of this land, our relationships with, and within it.