CHRISTINE HOWARD SANDOVAL
b. 1975, Anaheim, CA; member of the Chalon Indian Nation; lives and works in Vancouver
Water and fire, the media used to make Christine Howard Sandoval’s new drawings, have defined the ecology of the artist’s California homeland in dramatic ways. By mixing water and plant fiber, the artist creates a pulp in which she embeds the stalks or seeds of bear grass, a material used in Native American basket weaving. She then selectively masks the paper and scorches it to create an image in soot that alludes to the controlled burns that Native peoples of California have long used in their stewardship of the land. These patterns also evoke the geometry of a major dam built in Central California, represented in a photograph nearby in the Lunder Center gallery. The violence of this imposition on the earth and water is suggested by the poem reproduced beside it.