Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I create as a way of honoring those who came before me, the generations for whom I have names as well as those who are nameless to me. For my mother, the storyteller and illustrator, who taught me how to tell a story with vivid imagery. For my grandmother, the lapidary and seamstress, who taught me how to observe and preserve our history. For my great-grandmother, the beadworker and weaver, who taught me how to listen to the Earth, even the small things.

I create because the three generations of women artists before me never had the opportunity to fully pursue their art; they maintained their craft alongside boisterous families and economic hardship, full-time jobs and the crush of cultural assimilation. They shared tried and true tactics of physical, emotional and spiritual survival; from the foods they cooked to the humor they used to address the degrading and humorless. These women ingrained in me the ability to create something out of nothing, our “Indian/Mexican Ingenuity”[depending on who you spoke to], a practical and aesthetic tool that has shaped the way I perceive and portray the world through my art. And above all, they taught me how to laugh; long, hard and from my belly. For these indispensable gifts, I honor them.

I am called to demonstrate reverence for the art of my ancestors and show respect for the work done by generations by allowing those roots to continue to thrive in the present. I am committed to creating art with this intention.

From my perspective as a Queer Mestiza, I am constantly exploring the spaces between the worlds; between ancestral lines, between gender and gender roles, between past and present, between sacred space and living space, between personal authority and collective responsibility. I am calling the four elements from my place at the crossroads. I am using family recipes, Coyote’s tricks, and Spider’s wise words. I am committed to remembering what has stayed near and relearning what has slipped further away over time. I am taking after Oak, whose roots are as wide as the expanse of her branches, as much a part of sky as of earth. I am determined to survive and to speak my truth.

Through wit and wisdom, ancestral memory and oral history, needles and pens, feathers and beads, I aspire to weave a path between these worlds so that the mystery of it might feel like home, if only for a moment.

Words as memory, art as ritual. I create to act as conscience, storyteller, daughter, priestess and apprentice.


It is quite new for me to share the things I create with an audience outside of a small circle of loved ones. A new day, a new challenge, I suppose.
x. sarah sass biscarra

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"The High Priestess"
Original illustration for printed tarot deck, part of a collaborative project.
India ink on paper.
9" x 6.25"
2007

"Ramona"
Mixed-media assemblage.
Print matter, glass beads, untreated wool(wheel-spun), datura blossoms, arrowhead, acorn, cotton thread and human hair.
11.5" x 14"
2008
detail and full piece

"May they meet in the South"
Illustration
1 in 5 of "Hutash below, Sky Snake above" series.
India ink and acrylic paint on newsprint
40"x 40"
2008
detail and full piece.


"Coatlicue: She of the Serpent Skirt"
Mixed media and illustration.
India ink on cardboard, glass and bone beads, cotton thread, fox fur and human hair.
20.5"x 21"
2008
detail and full piece.