My work engages with Native stories, in which the animals are seen as beings, not as a commodity. These characters have a presence, they have intent; they speak, they can make decisions.
In my paintings and prints, animals are a vehicle to investigate what it means to be from two cultures, biracial. I am exploring an idea of inadequacy, an idea of not-Indian-enough. I have often portrayed animals in opposition to one another as a means of expressing the internal conflict that exists within someone like myself, navigating cultures.
My tribe, the Ponca, were originally from northern Nebraska, and in 1876 were forcibly removed at gunpoint to Oklahoma. Throughout my work, themes of conflict and injury are evident. In some cases animals are missing horns, reflecting the feeling of missing a part of oneself, and the ambiguities that exist for a biracial person living today in the United States.