My Artwork came to dead halt in December of 2013. As I considered the move I had already made back to my home town in Alaska earlier in the year, I tried to imagine a new incarnation for my work. The final threads of my portfolio were all leading me into the mundane but complex world of the kitchen. I made lists of possible objects, materials and local foods but the work felt hollow. I saw clearly in that moment the missing element in my entire body of work thus far. It had never been grounded in the community that had informed and inspired my emphasis on functional objects.
My journey home has been a long but fruitful one. This shift in my work is a turn toward bringing back ancient wisdom and revisioning it with digital media to capture the significance of the rapid fire times we live in. While I may yet make objects with compelling materials again in the future, my continued research has revealed that there is much work to be done to preserve the local food of my home. This work is as compelling as the Bristol Bay landscape and I cannot leave it undone. A food centered life is not only possible here, it is the key to safe passage of a brilliant and layered Culture into the future.
This work will document the evolution of traditions, innovations and social connections that have led to our various contemporary Subsistence & food preservation methods. Our Sustenance Life will identify significant objects and practices that tell a multidimensional story that showcases the influences of people, culture and history on the food of Bristol Bay. This ongoing public document will serve as a local learning resource that documents our varied histories, common values and the wisdom of our food. Our Sustenance Life is on it's way to becoming a living digital museum that will not only capture the wisdom of the Elders, it will also celebrate the importance of knowing, living and loving the land that brings us to Life.