"Firmly Grounded in the Sky" Hayden Haynes December 13 - 19, 2020
Artist Statement: “Firmly Grounded in the Sky”- is about being centered and staying true to ones individuality and beliefs. It’s also about the choices we make. The pieces here are not pretty. They were intended that way because often I think Iroquois artists are expected to show our work in a certain way. “Native art is so beautiful” is something I hear a lot. Sometimes I feel like we are expected to “dance” for people, but it’s ok to be true to who we are as artists. I made these pieces knowing they were going to be weird and ugly, but I felt happy doing it. This show is also a continued challenge to the norms of what is considered and accepted as Iroquois art. To show or even think about the Iroquois people in the modern world we all live in, is an abrasive concept to those institutions tasked with “representing” us. What people in these programs and institutions study in books evolves into romanticized ideas which then becomes their exhibited reality of us. In some ways I see it as an exploitation of our culture. But we have been so conditioned to being exploited for generations that I think sometimes we fail to see that. How we live, think and feel today is different than what is portrayed by the “professionals”.