“Gather” is a story-telling project focusing on Native American food sovereignty. The project is centered on a feature-length film directed by Sanjay Rawal and produced by Tanya Meillier and Sterlin Harjo. Renan Ozturk is the Director of Photography. The film is in production now and expected to be completed by early 2019. This project is being done in conjunction with First Nations Development Institute.
This past January, an event called “Outdoor Retailer” took place in Denver, CO. Croakies asked me to come carve and show artwork at their tradeshow booth for the event. This is where I met Sanjay. He informed me of an upcoming movie he was working on called “Gather” and asked if I wanted to incorporate my art into the film. We quickly came up with ideas, and agreed a time lapse would be a perfect fit for the film. I explained how my people, the Tlingit primary food source was salmon. This sustained our way of life for generations. I envisioned a beautiful live edge slab with beautiful wood grain that flowed like water, and bends it in like a stream.
By early March, I found the perfect slab to work with here in Arizona, and got it prepped to start the piece. My good friend/filmer Ian Tetzner got the time lapse ready to shoot. It was set for an interval photo lapse, overhead camera took a photo every 12-16 seconds. I would do 2-3 hour stretches on continuous painting on the piece. It took 6 days to paint start to finish.
My mother passed away on the 2nd day of filming of the time lapse. I made the decision to keep going, the process helped me mourn my mother, and find peace. She taught me a lot, she shaped me into the person I am today, she was strong, and had a kind heart. In her honor, “Xáat Héen” is dedicated to her. The piece is featured in the Oct./Nov. Issue of Native American Art Magazine, and look for the time lapse to featured in “Gather” releasing 2019.