Indigenous Maker Highlight: BRASS ARROW
We are so happy to welcome back to the shop, Brass Arrow. We've longed to collaborate with Noel as her handcrafted goods enrich our shop and the world. We're honored to highlight Brass Arrow for Native American Heritage Month this November.
Can you talk about your many creative outlets? How did you get your hands into so many different artistic processes?
I am an artist and designer, I work with a wide variety of mediums including drawing, painting, poetry, beadwork, puppetry, performance, and textiles. I come from a very creative family and community, where the arts and exploration are very encouraged and supported, and then have travelled and lived all over, creating, experimenting and collaborating.
These bandanas are full of the + symbol which I use a lot in my art, and has multiple meanings cross culturally. You might interpret them as stars, as the mathematical symbol of addition and positive quantity, which I like as togetherness, and the international symbol of health care. In my Native culture they are also symbolic of the four directions. Together, in all directions, helping others. A message I think we can all hold closer during these challenging times.
Can you tell us about your background? What drives your passion for making and how does that passion inform the rest of your life?
I come from a mixed race family, and my Mother's side is Chiricahua Apache Nde and Indigenous-Mexican, she is an Artist who works with both traditional and contemporary techniques from our culture. She taught me so much of what I know and I will continue to be her lifelong student in our Peoples' ways. I have also always been drawn to DIY underground or subcultural communities, art punks, outsider artists... where the ethos to create no matter what and for yourself is alive. I am "self- taught" but I have learned from so many others in different communities, and in all the inspirations I have absorbed and carry, they manifest in many different ways. My life is not separate from my art, they are the same in the way that it is energy and ideas constantly being cycled through all I do, it is my subconscious and my most waking intention. It is in my blood, and my ancestry. A wellspring I will spend all my life trying to honor by creation.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our community?
I would like to say thank you for all the support. Let's take care of each other, and our planet, it's the hardest and most rewarding work, to tend and be tender.