• Survivance: MFA Thesis - Sculpture

      Antonak, Erin Lee (2021-05)
      I am Wolf Clan, from the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, a member of the Iroquois Confederacy. I often consider the things we pass down between generations. I grew up learning Iroquois craft techniques from my mother, aunts, and grandparents. I look at my hands when I am working with corn using traditional techniques and think about how they are the result of women’s hands working in the same way over many, many generations. Working with corn husk and corn products ties me to my lineage and it allows for a meditative state that creates space for me to consider my humanness and my connectedness to the past and the future. It represents knowledge about life and healing sent through time from my ancestral mothers. While working I reflect on the lives of my matrilineal ancestors, who they were and the challenges they faced. It is comforting and empowering to know my own life is proof of their ability to persevere through extraordinarily difficult circumstances. I gain strength and healing from acknowledging their presence in me and my life.