Water flows in rivers and streams, in arteries and veins. It flows around us and through us. From raindrops to vast oceans, from the largest tree to the smallest pollinator, we are all part of its currents. The water moves through rivers, ancient beings that guard the stories of the living organisms that inhabit their banks and water. In the exhibition Water and Origin: Protecting and Honoring the First Storyteller, artists from across Turtle Island/North America explore these vital narratives. Through photography, painting, quilting, and ceramics, artists share the cultural memories of their communities and the importance of protecting these waterways.
The artists included the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) quilter Iakonikonriiosta, Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk ceramicist Katsitsionni Fox, the Mazatec art/farming collective Kjoaetzen, and the dancers/filmmakers Blake Lavia and TZINTZUN. The artist couple Blake Lavia and TZINTZUN also serve as the exhibitions curators, visibly weaving together the different pieces. Through contemporary dance and videography, they delve into the environmental history of the Kaniatarowanénhne/St. Lawrence River Watershed on traditional Haudenosaunee territory and at the Antigua Watershed of Veracruz, Mexico, Totonac/Nahua Territory.