A wall based installation created from tens of thousands of dentalium shells sustainably harvested along the Pacific coast of Northwest America.
Dentalium shells have been used by First Nations and Native Americans as a highly valued trade item for thousands of years. Oral history of the Yurok, an indigenous Californian tribe, refers to Pithváva, a deity who created dentalium shells and dictated their significance as sacred wealth. Whilst articulating my vision of this deity in visual terms, this installation also explores the notion of sacred wealth as an art form thorough a contemporary artisanal method of creation.
The two distinctive surface areas within the piece are created from opposing end of the shells, with the intention of celebrating the true beauty of the material itself. Utilising a combination of two part epoxy resin and a hybrid silicone adhesive each shell is manually glued together. As layers of the shells build up the inherent curvature of the shells informs the three dimensional aspect of individual forms. As one form is competed the next is born, shell by shell this installation organically evolved as a collection of self informed brush strokes.