Shyla Villanueva BFA Printmaking Thesis Spring 2017
Deep Time and Radical Slowness
Deep Time and Radical Slowness exhibits Indigenous craft and thought. What many would call materials are referred to as beings in this work. The shift of thought that materials do have agency over the artist is one of the factors of Re Indigenization that occurs in this work. Re Indigenization can occur by connecting with the land as a form of healing from cultural displacement. It also becomes a form of resistance through radical slowness.
This work acknowledges marginalization that is the result of cultural loss. Concurrently, it also enacts cultural reconnection which includes reuniting with the landscape. By reentering the Indigenous landscape, the displaced are able to heal from both physical and emotional ailments caused by historic trauma and contemporary colonization. In this case, connecting with the landscape includes working with the beings of stone, water, cedar, and clay. The forms in this work include the basin, bowls, basket, and the stand, who act as protectors and navigators for Indigenous individuals in a colonized space. The beings and forms resist and defy the western art canon as vessels for Re Indigenization that refuse the marginalization of Indigenous art. They do this by showing that Indigenous art, thought, and being is contemporary and not artifact. That it operates on a time line parallel to Deep Time; that it will outlive us all.
Accessibility, ceremony, and forgiveness of the human thought is equalized by asking permission to gather, transport, grind, mix, and weave. Energy disperses, the connection with these beings becomes a collaboration instead of one sole artist responsible for all aspects of the piece. This work has woven not only a basket but an Indigenous community that surrounds this ceremony. This work is about the curing of materials, being realized as beings, as the artist herself cures from displacement. The sun, water, cedar, limonite, clay, and stone collaborate with the artist to examine marginalized Indigeneity.