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Sonya Kelliher Combs

I am defined through my kinship with the land. With my family I spent summers on the land working, saving, hunting, and gathering for the winter. Within this context I learned how to participate harmoniously with nature. It is through this understanding that I discover my role as Human, Woman, Sister, Wife, and Artist. The content of my work is symbols and patterns of history, family culture, and nature, both physical and ritual. My work and process reflect a questioning and understanding of beauty and examine relationships between Western Culture/ Alaska Native Culture, nature/man, and organic/synthetic. We are influenced by our environment, the repetitive and cyclical nature of life actions. These actions, symbols, and patterns work as an apt metaphor for personal history and are fundamental in my search and chronicle of self-definition and identity. The inspiration for Rust Feather is an Athabascan symbol for good luck, whirling feathers. Feathers were also used in the blessing of a journey