amęʔyeh: On the Water ~ Artist’s Statement

Posted by on Jan 11, 2018 in Artist's Profiles | No Comments

amęʔyeh: On the Water. Trees Suspension; Digital collage and Embroidered assemblages by Catherine Tammaro

A photograph is a record of a moment, moments become transparent in time, held within the natural world. A shift in identity; a realisation of change and the ancient homelands we re-member, re-establish themselves in our hearts and we are able to reconnect.  Water is the bond that holds many societies in place, plant, animal-human, and these reflections revolve around with, and in the water. Cells are born, structures built from the eye of seeing ~ a new awareness triggers a blood memory ~ ceremonies are conducted, clans and phratries are contained within those circles of interaction. Circles as black as the night sky; stars on the water.

DaVinci said “water is the driving force behind all nature”. Indigenous peoples of all eras would agree that we make our beginnings in water, ride within it through the cycles of life and reconnect with it in death by merging with natural world. Lakes and steams, the veins and capillaries of the Mother. The Mother cycles the blood/water back into us again. Clay and water mix; clan and clay speak the same language.

The natural world: ordered and yet uncontrollable, sunset blaze – trade the conch, call the ceremony ~ a shaman’s scared fire, the bull rush, the sweet grass, crushed shell temper and glaze.
Humans make the patterns, Mother to Daughter ~ their DNA to now, and now to the future. The Little Turtle caries the fire, she keeps the heavens.

Shifts in consciousness as motes of light on the water of a sacred lake…. water snakes ride waves of hair floating on the water’s surface, the hairs become fibre; floss pulled through linen. Incubator installations contain cross references, to two cultures merged in one human woman. A sacred medicine, the pelt of a beaver – the bark of a birch tree scraped and cut away; a trail through a forest…..A canoe skims the surface. Yaaʔtayę́htsih, the old woman….ⁿde kǫmaáʔtęhtiʔ “the one fallen from above” Moose hair, bullrushes ~ red ochre marks the offering. All are sacred within one life’s set of experiences, let loose by Ancestral memories.

Embroidery hoops circles of interaction. Containers of impulses in dyed collected thread. Seeds as survivors are carriers of memory, time is suspended in moving reflections on the lake surface.
Flaxen fibres, make the linen…. MotherTrees connect all below the surface. By way of the blood.

On The Water is a series of images and assemblages which explore, thought and time’s imprints as layers of image on transparencies and threads of floss in linen. Captured random thoughts, silvered and layered, thread through cloth ~  just as they did, but not…..just as is the process of remembering – itself. 

With Thanks to Phil Ogison, Sallie Cotter Andrews, Barbara Aston, Pat Garrison, Richard Zane Smith, Paul Barton, Joanne Dallaire, Brenna Bartley, Dr. Kathryn Magee Labelle, Maureen Da Silva, True North Writing Collective. Rika Tanaka, Christine Cserti, Ray Kennedy, Reid Robins, and Pam Hatanaka. A special thanks to Gordon Maher, who generously provided laughter and transportation all over the city all summer long picking up supplies!


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