America was founded upon ideologies of freedom. The young nation broke away from England’s imperial stronghold to pursue a better life in the New World. However, Americas expansion went against one of the nations most important foundations: escaping imperialism.

The United States became an empire nearly 400 years ago, and it remains so to this day. Over those four centuries, physical and cultural landscapes have been shaped to an implied mold they will never fit. Land of Origin is an investigation of this dichotomy through visual ironies found in Montana.

Land of Origin explores the combination of indigenous cultures and imperialism with an emphasis on the handmade. Tricolor gum combined with natural and historic pigments respects traditional Native American art practices while simultaneously creating a visual contrast between subject and process. 

 

gum bichromate with powder earth pigments, 2016.

 
127 Years. Little Bighorn Battlefield, Crow Reservation, Montana. 11"×14"

127 YearsLittle Bighorn Battlefield, Crow Reservation, Montana. 11"×14"

 
“Kill the Indian...to save the man.”  Capt. Richard H. Pratt, 19th century. St. Ignatius Mission, Flathead Reservation, Montana. 8"×10" & 8"×10"  

“Kill the Indian...to save the man.”  Capt. Richard H. Pratt, 19th century. St. Ignatius Mission, Flathead Reservation, Montana. 8"×10" 8"×10"

 

 
Clark's Masterpiece. Pompeys Pillar National Monument, Montana. 8"×10"

Clark's Masterpiece. Pompeys Pillar National Monument, Montana. 8"×10"

 
 
"There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Calvary."  General George Custer, late 19th century. Little Bighorn Battlefield, Crow Reservation, Montana. 11"×14"

"There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Calvary."  General George Custer, late 19th century. Little Bighorn Battlefield, Crow Reservation, Montana. 11"×14"

 
 
Make Me Wise. St. Ignatius Mission, Flathead Reservation, Montana. 5"×7"

Make Me Wise. St. Ignatius Mission, Flathead Reservation, Montana. 5"×7"

 
 
King of the Wild Frontier. Martin City, Montana & Creston, Montana. 5"×7"

King of the Wild Frontier. Martin City, Montana & Creston, Montana. 5"×7"

 
 
“…What’s done is done. Europeans invaded their land and they were defeated. Get over it.” Alan Drager, Facebook comment. November 24, 2016. Ninepipes, Flathead Reservation, Montana. 11"×14"

“…What’s done is done. Europeans invaded their land and they were defeated. Get over it.” Alan Drager, Facebook comment. November 24, 2016. Ninepipes, Flathead Reservation, Montana. 11"×14"

 
 
As the White Man Watches Over. Ninepipes, Flathead Reservation, Montana & Little Bighorn Battlefield, Crow Reservation, Montana. 5"×7"

As the White Man Watches Over. Ninepipes, Flathead Reservation, Montana & Little Bighorn Battlefield, Crow Reservation, Montana. 5"×7"

 
 
They Dwell. Creston, Montana; Gray Wolf Peak Casino, Missoula, Flathead Reservation, Montana; Martin City, Montana. 5"×7"

They Dwell. Creston, Montana; Gray Wolf Peak Casino, Missoula, Flathead Reservation, Montana; Martin City, Montana. 5"×7"