Conversation with Artists Eric O’Connell and Gina Adams
Moderated by Catherine Petersen and Björn Krondorfer
In conjunction with the exhibit ECHOES OF LOSS, please join Björn Krondorfer, NAU’s Director of the Martin-Springer Institute and Endowed Professor of Religious Studies, and Catherine Petersen, Lecturer in NAU’s Art History program, in conversation with participating artists Eric O’Connell and Gina Adams.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Gina Adams creates political artwork inspired by her grandfather’s Native Objiwe and Lakota roots and his boarding school experience at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. The piece selected for Echoes of Loss explores the encounter between colonizers and colonized through the remembrance of broken trust. Her quilt Treaty of Middle Plantation 1677, from her Broken Treaty Quilts series, quite literally documents the deceptions and broken promises of European settlers, leaving Native American impoverished and bereft of ancestral lands.
Eric O’Connell is a photographer and visual anthropologist from New Mexico, currently based in Flagstaff, Arizona. His site-specific sculptures—photographs of feathers arranged in the earth—are still and meditative. In these works, he channels the lingering pain of his own traumatic near-death experience on September 11, 2001 in New York, exploring the suffering of others in a way that is measured, controlled, and contained in the patterns he creates on the ground. The sculptures evoke the suffering left in the wake of colonialism and subjugation: the loss of Native lives and the violent suppression of culture. Designed to dematerialize, the sculptures are dissolved by the forces of nature.
Working in fabric and feathers—materials that evoke comfort and decorative beauty—both artists delve into visions of softness as a means of revealing the hard truths of conquest, betrayal, exploitation, and cultural oppression.
This event is free and open to the public.