CAPTURED: A Ground-breaking Exhibition by Native American Photographers opens at Rainmaker Gallery, Bristol, this March

Chicago Native artist Debra Yepa-Pappan's art will be part of United Kingdom art exhibition

Chicago Native artist Debra Yepa-Pappan’s art will be part of United Kingdom art exhibition

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM — Running from 5 March to 30 May 2015, CAPTURED exposes contemporary Native America through thought-provoking and unusual photographic images created by six artists from eight tribes. Importantly, the arresting images featured in this exhibition challenge preconceived notions of American Indians. 

Debra Yepa-Pappan captures her hometown of Chicago in glorious colours, selectively overlaying patterns that celebrate her Jemez Pueblo and Korean heritage.

Chemehuevi photographer Cara Romero stages both intimate portraits and playful reconstructions of iconic masterworks, featuring performance art hero ‘Buffalo Man’.

DYP6Navajo artist Will Wilson combines digital technology with historic photographic processes to develop otherworldly portraits of Native artists for his on going “Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange” project. One of these portraits is an extraordinary interactive ‘talking tintype’ which has to be seen to be believed!

Two portraits from Tailinh Agoyo’s evolving series ‘The Warrior Project: Indigenous Children Defend the Earth’ reveal the next Native generation as budding change makers and empowered activists in a world where resources are becoming depleted and pollution is high.

There are turns towards tradition in sepia prints on woodblock as Tlingit photographer Zoe Urness focuses on themes of ceremony and nature.

Contemporary fine artist Sarah Sense weaves photographs of her world travels into intriguing textures using the Chitamacha basketwork patterns of her tribe.

CAPTURED shares modern narratives from within tribal communities, where Native people hold the cameras and present themselves as empowered individuals. Popular historical depictions by colonial photographers such as Edward Curtis have fixed in time external ideas about Native life. In reality, Native Americans today are no less authentic than in the past and their tribal cultures are continually evolving. This show provides a much-needed reassessment of photography relating to American Indians and their relationships with the photographic lens.

CAPTURED is the first solely photographic exhibition that Rainmaker Gallery has held in its rich twenty-five-year history of exhibiting contemporary Native American art. Gallery Director and curator Joanne Prince explains:

“Throughout the years I have seen so much talent amongst Native photographers and yet, only recently have they begun to get proper exposure in North America. I am delighted to be bringing some of their finest work to the UK.”

With CAPTURED, we are given a taste of what photography by and about Native American Indians can look like post Edward Curtis. Overall, this is an innovative and overdue exhibition about the nature of Native American Indian photography and the specific cultural expressions of people who undoubtedly belong on both sides of the camera.

Situated on the border of Redland and Westbury Park in North Bristol, Rainmaker Gallery is the UK showcase for the very best in contemporary Native North American Indian art and design. Founded in 1991 by Joanne Prince, to provide an authentic Native American Indian voice in the UK, Rainmaker promotes awareness, education and cultural exchange through artist talks, events and exhibitions. The gallery exhibits original paintings, drawings and fine art prints and carries a superb collection of high quality handmade American Indian jewellery, Zuni fetish carvings and Pendleton blankets.


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