Headlands Center for the Arts

Natani Notah

california | visual
Graduate Fellowship Program 2018—2019, Stanford University

Artist Statement

My current art practice explores contemporary Native American identity through the lens of Diné (Navajo) womanhood. Inspired by acts of decolonization, environmental justice, Indigenous feminism, and Indigenous futurism, my work dares to imagine a world where Native sensibilities are magnified. By way of fragmented abstraction, bodily scale, and the marrying of natural and synthetic materials, my work provokes conversations about what it means to be a colonized individual in present-day United States of America.

In an effort to envision decolonial futures, I often pair unexpected elements together and include Native beadwork, leatherwork, and fiber to complicate our understanding of inherited tradition and value. Drawing upon minimal forms derived from Diné symbolism, my sculptures, installations, and performances become living bodies of sharp resistance to assimilation that braid together our communal stories of loss and survival to promote understanding and respect across cultural divides.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands I will be researching the Miwok people’s original connection to the site and surrounding areas. I am particularly interested in exploring the natural coastline in an effort to focus on the moments where the water meets the land. For me, there is a deep connection between this transitory space and conversations about Westerners’ first contact with North America. Over time I will address this complex relationship through observational drawing and writing to culminate in a series of mixed media sculptures and site-specific performances that tend to the local ecosystems.

Selected Works

Personal Website