Kaaseiyi (2021)

(2021) woodwork canoe

 

This canoe is named Kaaseiyi, meaning voice of man. The canoe is named after Nahaan’s father Roger Alexander. Roger was Kaigani Haida, from double headed eagle, frog, beaver clan. From Hydaburg AK. Traditionally in native culture mostly men build canoes, and traditionally in western culture boats are given the gender of female. With Kaaseiyi, Nahaan intentionally separates this act of love and remembrance from western practise and expectations, and firmly sets this gift as a gift of not only memory but of tradition and cultural responsibility. A vessel for learning and growing family, through songs, protocol, and leadership.

 

I was asked by Nahaan if I could help build Kaaseiyi after the cedar strips had been formed and set into their place to make the dugout canoe shape. We began by prepping for delivery to the fiberglasser. After fiberglass had been applied both inside and out, we sanded it down to a smooth state. We landed at our first generous work space offering at the Museum of Museums (MoM) in Seattle. While at MoM, we cut the rough shapes for the in and out wales, and the bow and stern top pieces. We steam bent the in and out wales and attached them. Then it was time to move to our next generous work space offering provided by Vermillion Art Gallery also in Seattle. While at Vermillion, we steam bent the rails that sit on top of the in and out wales, steam bent and attached the risers that the seats rest on, and we cut and fitted four seats. At this point we began to clean, shape and refine the overall body. 

 

Each work session would start with sage, and at the end of the work day, songs would be sung to Kaaseiyi. Our last step was painting, starting with primer, sanding, primer, sanding, and probably a little more primer once the surface was as smooth as we thought we could get it. Then we started adding color, and delineating shapes. The shape that the black makes on the outside is referencing the belly of the killer whale. Many more coats of marine grade paint, a little wax, and we were ready to have a naming ceremony and launch. 

 

On a perfectly beautiful overcast rainy Sunday afternoon at Golden Gardens, we formally named the canoe Kaaseiyi. A representative from the Duwamish Tribe attended and gave us permission to launch, have a safe journey, and come back again soon. We loaded up seven deep, and pushed off into the water, watching as the small crowd of attendees sang us songs and danced on the beach. The sea lions and eagles were circling and watching us as we pulled our way around the buoy and back to the beach.
 
What a gift to help my best friend build this boat, we both built this with no prior experience in building a canoe. We could not have done this without the guidance of master canoe builders, Wayne Price, Beau Wagner, Dale Bekkela, Joe Martin, Al Charles, and Stormy Hamar from up the coast to Canada and AK. The reverence for the craft of building a vessel that holds human life in the water is a profound learning lesson. I’m thankful to have been given the chance to share in this truly amazing process. In the near future, we will decide upon native formline designs that will rest on the outside of Kaaseiyi.

NAMING CEREMONY

 

Stories (2020-present)

Stories from the Streets or Being Seen (working titles) (2020-present)

 

This is the seed project for what will become a much larger, interactive, citywide performance experience. To begin, I have been awarded funding from 4Culture to collect interviews from people living on the street experiencing homelessness. My aim is to find individuals who would like to talk with me about their experience living on the street. I have found myself gravitating to these folks for two reasons: 1) My mother lived on the street for a period of time after I began living on my own, and before she ultimately was committed to Wester State hospital; and 2) I can’t help but see a clear correlation between out of control rental prices and the rapid increase in the homeless population in the northwest.

 

 

Through this funding I will compensate the individuals interviewed. I want to collect these interviews and geo tag the locations where the interviewees are living. In Seattle currently the people living on the street are routinely dislocated or swept from their established homes on the street, a practise that is both inhumane and, given that we are still in the grips of a worldwide pandemic, is all the more absurd an action to be taken against an already extremely vulnerable population. 
Once I have collected as many interviews as funding will allow for, I will create a website which houses all of these stories and cross references each one with a QR code that will be placed at the location of past residence for each individual I interview. This will create both a visual link to the inhabitants that occupied these street homes–prior to being displaced yet again–and determine a walking tour through Seattle that someone could follow to see these stories activated from one QR code to the next.
This first step will lay the groundwork for the larger piece. I will endeavor to fill in the path that is created from these stories with installation, both site specific and gallery. There will be sound that will accompany the viewer through this journey. There will be pre recorded performance that lives as a sort of ghost along this path. All this will come together to create a walking tour that can be entered at any point, at any time.

 

T Shirts (2020-present)

Wear your support for an open dialogue on RENT CONTROL in Washington State.

 

Proceeds from sales of these t-shirts go to support Sawhorse Revolution. Check out the link and learn about the wonderful programs they foster benefiting youth and the homeless in our region.
T-shirts available in Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. Two color WE DESERVE RENT CONTROL silkscreen (black t-shirt) and three color RENT CONTROL silkscreen (white t-shirt). Both designs are printed on a soft cotton shirt, currently only available in colors shown. Price is $35 including shipping, or $30 if shipping is not required.
Payment can happen through PayPal, Venmo or cash if meeting in person. 
Email requests to: baldieoner@hotmail.com 

 

Walk with us (2020)

(2020) painted banner

 

I felt compelled to respond to the conflicts between Black Lives Matters marchers and the violent provocations of the police. Inspired by seeing a few police officers in different cities choosing to walk with demonstrators as they marched. I aimed to tell Seattle Police officers to embrace the community and its vulnerabilities, stand up for the underserved, walk with us and choose to hear the voices of the people.

 

Bowls of Words (2019-present)

(2019-present) Ongoing project of ceramic bowls

 

One thing that has always attracted me to pottery is the potential permanence that clay possesses. In the first stage, I threw, fired and glazed thirtythree soup bowls, decorated with one of three phrases ( I WAS BORN A WOMAN, IT IS A SERIOUS THING JUST TO BE, MASTERS WERE FEARFUL) I felt spoke of who we are as a society at this time. Inspired by ancient texts, ceramic law cones and the discovery of these artifacts in modern day. With these Bowls of Words I aim to create a document that could be discovered in the future by another civilization. 

 

 

For 2020 I threw over 100 bowls, some porcelain, some terracotta, with the three phrases ( I LOVE YOU, WE ARE ANIMALS, FREE THE FUTURE). Also see, Bowls for Sale.

 

Mother Father (2019)

(2019) Commissioned public art mural, Mosquito MT, Leadville CO.

 

Painted with the assistance of artist NKO while in residence at Artville in Leadville CO. 13,000 feet up in the mountains on an old abandoned radio shack, this message speaks to past generations asking them how have they cared for the world that is being handed off to younger generations? Painted with Enamel paint, the message will stand as a visual voice in the cold high land of the mountains. 

 

Bring Back The Salmon (2019)

(2019) Commissioned public art mural, Art in Parks, Seattle WA.

 

Working together, Nahaan and I designed a native formline salmon, as a rain-activated, ground stencil. Working with the Office of Arts and Culture Art in Parks, we settled on Alki Beach Park as our project site. We used RainWorks to stencil a temporary non toxic clear coating which is only visible during Seattle’s rainy weather. The stencil design we created was roughly 4’ long and 2’ tall. This installation is meant to bring attention to the loss of native salmon in this region as a result of overfishing, dam’s blocking salmon runs and pollution. We possess the power to change the fate of the northwest salmon.
 

$tate of Emergency (2019)

(2019) Visual art poster exhibition, The BLDG, Seattle WA.

 

Painted with funding from 4culture Art Projects, this was the culmination of a grant I received supporting Rent Control postering. Three large posters (this one measured 14’x7’) were created, two classes/lectures were presented to highschool kids along with one poster making demonstration. A run of rent control T-shirts was also created with this funding.

 

 

Artist Lecture on practice and current projects. University Prep, Seattle WA 

If you would like one of these WE DESERVE RENT CONTROL T-Shirts. Email Ezra at: baldieoner@hotmail.com
Funds from T-Shirt sales go towards Sawhorse Revolution, and printing future messages on T-Shirts.

Abortion is Freedom (2019)

(2019) designed and hand painted poster

 

In anticapation of the LA Women’s March, Shout Your Abortion commissioned No Touching Ground and I to create this large two section poster to be displayed in Pershing Square nearby the start of the march. We designed and hand painted this work to fit perfectly into the media advert display case shown here. It is an unquestionable right that women have access to legal abortions and be able to choose for themselves what’s best for their body. Men and religious beliefs have no place imposing their expectations on any woman’s ability to make a choice.

 

photo NTG

Give us a voice (2019)

(2019) commissioned choreography

 

Choreography set on ten young women in North Star Ballet School’s advanced level. This work was created in collaboration with the students. I’ve been interested in exploring different ways of integrating text, voice, and clear messaging into my choreographic works. This interest began with creating gifts of performance for my mother. When I arrived at North Star, I had decided that I wanted to ask my cast of ten young women the question, “what do you have to say to the generation that is leaving you this earth”. We spent a good portion of our first rehearsal time talking about this question. I wrote down each answer, after hearing all the thoughts, I explained that I wanted to build the choreography around the words that we had just discussed. Collectively we settled on “give us a voice” as the text and title for the piece.
My aim was to push these young performers to not only realise my movement ideas, I wanted them to realise their voices individually and as a collective by building vocalised text into the choreography from the very start of rehearsals. I had decided beforehand that the sound used in this work was to come directly from the performers live. Exploration of repetition, abstraction, volume, and exhaustion was the ideas I built, and shaped this work vocally, around. I feel that younger performers often have to be shown how to learn a section of choreography so that they can know this movement sequence without having to think about what step comes next. When this effortlessness is found, the next step is to run this movement sequence to the edge of exhaustion so that the dancer’s ego is shed. When this is found ten dancers can perform as one, their awareness of the ensemble grows and is able to collectively lift each other up. A clear image of the body being propelled by muscle is the intended result. This is quite a lot to ask of young performers, I feel though that this is the most important concept to have been introduced to in the development of a young professional dancer. I was quite proud of what these ten young women accomplished in our time together in rehearsal. This work was set to premier in Fairbanks in April 2020, unfortunately Covid-19 had other plans, so for now the premier is on hold.