Northern Travels at Dusk, My First Collection
For my introductory collection, I focused on the theme of maintaining mental harmony, one of the tenets of Navajo thinking. I reflected on the experience of walking alone at night on the northern edges of the Navajo homeland.
As Navajo people, we believe that our thoughts have great power and contribute to how we interact with the world around us. We aim to live a life centered in beauty and positivity; we live connected with our world and those around us. In the Navajo language, we call our life in balance hózhó.
The world is complicated and always tests the balance of our thoughts. Our personal well-being is affected when disharmony in our thoughts comes from ourselves or others, usually in the forms of envy, jealousy, rage, anxiety, depression, and self doubt.
I looked to this theme for the collection not to be melancholy, but to share the idea of journeying forward when surrounded by self-doubt. Driving at night or walking at night by yourself can be lonely and feel petrifying. As kids you hear your parents say not to wander far at night or something will snatch you and take you away. As an adult I reflect on what this meant. Maybe it wasn't a physical beast that was going to come, but the beast of the unknown creating disharmony in your thoughts and stealing away your well-being.
The materials in this opening collection reflect on these themes. The colors represent the land and sky transitioning into darkness across the northern regions of the reservation: off whites of aspen trees, deep blues of the night sky, transitioning colors at sunset, canyon walls as the shadows change, and tall pine forests creating a veil of shadow. Each piece has a story and I invite you to learn about each item as I share one aspect of the Navajo experience.