My work as an artist rests in this simple assertion: We are collectors of stories and the stories we collect shape the people we are. In narrative style, I create paintings engaged in story: both its function and its telling. I see my role in this process as mediator and disrupter: standing between two opposing things, separating them, placing boundaries in new and unusual places and joining them once again. I work in this manner that I might see things in a new way.
As I collect and work with stories, I am reminded time and time again that stories are fluid. They must bend and move in order to continue to serve us. I sometimes see myself going into ancient times, gathering up stories and bringing them into my current context. Our ancient stories are vital, but it is not enough to merely re-tell these stories. We must actively participate with our stories and allow them to evolve, even as we do. This element of my work is vital as I investigate and explore what it means to be Chickasaw today and what it will mean for generations to come.
Website: Erin Shaw