Organized by artist Cannupa Hanska Luger
Collaborating artists: Chip Thomas, Jesse Hazelip, Kali Spitzer, Kathy Elkwoman Whitman, 1000 Tiny Mirrors
Everyone is invited to the Ent Center for the Arts for the opening of Lazy Stitch, a new exhibition that investigates the interconnectedness of the human story through the work of five contemporary artists from diverse backgrounds. Working together in collaboration with artist Cannupa Hanska Luger, works span social engagement, public art, monumental sculpture, mural installation, photography, performance and wearable sculptural regalia. Lazy Stitch takes the relationship of the bead and the thread as its context, co-creating narrative about life on this planet.
For the exhibition's opening event, collaborative performance project 1000 Tiny Mirrors will present a site-specific rope-work performance that honors gender gradience. The performance apparatus and detritus will remain on display for the exhibition's duration as well as video documentation of the live performance. As a collection of individual and collaborative artworks, the exhibition weaves together a story and a context; it represents an emergent cosmology of interconnectedness with earth and each other.
An artist talk is planned for Friday, May 4, 1 - 2 pm. All events are free and open to the public; registration is requested to assist with planning.
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
The term lazy stitch describes a sewing methodology often used in Indigenous beadwork. Individual multi-colored beads are threaded and sewn, one row at a time, eventually revealing a complex image when all rows are complete. The lazy stitch is an approach to craft-making, but also represents a value system in which each individual is important to the whole. Lazy Stitch uses this metaphor as a way to explore contemporary issues through collaborative practice, while revealing the potential for collective social agency.
Organized by artist Cannupa Hanska Luger, Lazy Stitch brings together five contemporary artists across land, race, culture, gender and time to investigate intersecting human experiences. The collected works explore the strength and resilience necessary to human survival. The artworks illustrate a deep connection to the land and the importance of ceremony, story and intention; they demonstrate generational respect and honor gender gradience. Lazy Stitch threads into this emerging pattern the traumatic outcomes of extractive industry, stolen and murdered community members, and the negative implications of the prison and military industries. Through various hands-on collaborative practices, the exhibition reveals balance, dependency and intersection. Each artist works in collaboration with artist Cannupa Hanska Luger to create an intersecting narrative through the individual works presented.
Anchoring the exhibition is Every One, the first social engagement work of an ongoing series. Based on an image by collaborator and First Nations photographer Kali Spitzer, Cannupa Hanska Luger combines 4,000 individual 2" clay beads made by communities across America and Canada to create a massive portrait that references the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, queer and trans community members. Spitzer also presents Sister, a photography and sound installation which further speaks to the MMIWQT issue.
Shoulders of Giants is a grouping of ceramic buffalo skulls created by Cannupa Hanska Luger in collaboration with artist and activist Jesse Hazelip referencing the prison and military industries; the skulls are interlocked in chains and carved with prison-style inscriptions by Hazelip. Hazelip also exhibits Los Banditos and Dreamer, two hand-drawn Buffalo figures printed and presented as a monumental-scale wheat-paste mural.
The One Who Checks & The One Who Balances is a set of futuristic regalia created by Cannupa Hanska Luger with beadwork by multi-disciplinary artist Kathy Elkwoman Whitman; the costumes have been worn in performative actions of political resistance in response to communities whose land and culture are impacted by resource extraction, water rights, borders, and even gentrification.
Artist, activist and photographer Chip Thomas creates a photographic mural installation referencing The One Who Checks & The One Who Balances. His mural depicts performative acts of resistance to extractive industry as photographed onsite at the Navajo nation, Arizona.
This is Not A Snake is a monumental sculpture by Cannupa Hanska Luger compiled from oil drums, ammunition cans, trash, found objects and ceramic along with collective-made additions from participating artists; it is referenced in other works and also context for an on-site interaction. Likewise, Everything Anywhere is a land art installation on the grounds of UCCS Ent Center for the Arts as part of GOCA's AWOL: Art WithOut Limits program. Installed collaboratively with UCCS Outdoor Services staff and Hanska Luger, the work will evolve throughout the exhibition to acknowledge nature through matriarchal form.
For the exhibition's opening event; collaborative performance project 1000 Tiny Mirrors presents a site-specific rope-work performance that honors gender gradience. The performance apparatus and detritus will remain on display for the exhibition's duration as well as video documentation of the live performance. As a collection of individual and collaborative artworks, the exhibition weaves together a story and a context; it represents an emergent cosmology of interconnectedness with earth and each other.
IMAGE CAPTION: Twins at Rest (The One Who Check & The One Who Balances), 2018
Chip Thomas, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Kathy Elkwoman Whitman Mixed media performative regalia by Cannupa Hanska Luger with beadwork by Kathy Elkwoman Whitman Dimensions variable Photo by Chip Thomas for Lazy Stitch project collaboration, Navajo nation, AZ