Water Protectors + Broken Treaties
2019, acrylic, aerosol, graphite, oil paints on wood panel, 24 in x 18 in
(Photograph by Mario Gallucci)
"I’m a contemporary Klamath Modoc visual artist based in Modoc Point, Oregon. The conceptual framework of my practice focuses on channeling research through a creative flow of experimentation and artistic playfulness rooted in Indigenous aesthetics and abstract formalism. Utilizing painting and traditional Indigenous art practices, my work explores space in-between the Indigenous and western paradigms.
My current painting series is titled Land Back. Living and working on ranch and forest lands has become a ritual in reconnection. Walking the land, watching for snakes in the summer, watching the prints of who walked before me in the snow in winter, selecting trees to trim for fire prevention. At the same time I’ve been collecting detritus from the land: shot up cans, old ranch equipment, strange machinery objects, barbed wire, grids, bullets. I take these objects and use them as stencils in my paintings. Combining these marks with harvested wild pigments to constitute the layers that bridge contemplation of the violence and trauma, in an aim to heal, and bring forth resiliency and transformation of perception and memory.
The role of creative fugitivity in a corporate colonial Empire has become essential. As a content creator, writer, mark maker, and mentor, I’ve removed my labor from the urban center instead focusing my conceptual practice of performative painting with the land. This performance of refusal and flight is rooted in learning decolonial modes of resistance and freedom from my ancestors and contemporaries."
— Ka'ila Farrell-Smith