Over the next few months the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation has a fascinating surprise for anyone fortunate enough to visit our National Headquarters in downtown Vancouver, Washington. The nationally acclaimed installation artist and NACF 2016 National Artist Fellow, Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation), is exhibiting a powerful work from her larger installation titled, “Recurring Chapters in the Book of Inevitable Outcomes.”
Originally created in 2015 during an Eiteljorg contemporary Art Fellowship, Brenda uses materials for her artwork that include waxed cloth, nuts, bolts, hog rings and welded steel. Fascinating in itself, to understand the meaning and intent behind these works, historical context is critical.
In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, our government forcibly removed the Cherokee People from their homelands in the southeast U.S. and relocated them to an area of what is now Oklahoma. The Cherokee people refer to this journey as the “Trail of Tears”, because it had such a devastating impact on their people and culture. Through the inspirational lens of her Cherokee history, Brenda addresses the ideas of disruption, repair and renewal focusing on the interference and disruptions in systems of nature and human cultures. The implication of these tenuous connections is fully realized in this moving and spectacularly beautiful work.
Originally from Oklahoma, and an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, Brenda is a long-term resident of Portland. The multi-media work she creates in her Portland studio ranges from individual wall-hangings and sculptures to large-scale installations.
We are grateful to Brenda for allowing the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation to enjoy sharing this piece in the coming months, and to Todd Clark of IMNDN, who assisted with the November 2017 installation.
If you would like to visit and view these pieces at The Academy, please call ahead to make an appointment.