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

 

Daphne’s Quilt (2020)

(2020) baby quilt

 

I had already created a wedding quilt for Rainbow and Kris, it seemed only fitting to create a baby quilt for their new born child Daphne. For this asymmetrical quilt, I used Daphne’s namesake flower as source material. This seven color quilt was built piece by piece, then temporarily affixed with fabric adhesive before being sewn down. Approximate dimensions are 4’x4’.

 

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.

 

Oskar’s Card (2020)

(2020) hand made card gift

 

Created for a friend’s young child as a pick-me-up while they worked through health issues. There’s nothing quite like the tug of a friend telling you in honesty how hard of a time their kid is having dealing with health issues, and how much of a trooper they are through it all. This is the fuel that births unprovoked gifts, little ways of saying I know life is tough but you rock!

 

Jackie Sayers (2018)

(2018) designed and hand painted poster

 

This portrait of Jackie Sayers was painted for family and loved ones. Jackie was a member of the Puyallup Tribe. No Touching Ground painted the portrait and I the text, working through De Escalate Washington, were honored to be asked to create this memorial for the Puyallup Tribe. Jackie and her unborn child were shot and killed by Tacoma police officers during a response to a domestic abuse call. To this day no justice has been served to the family of Jackie Sayers, the officers involved are still on duty, and no one has been charged with murder.

 

The Summit (2016)

(2016) Mural

 

Painted in an apartment building that was for low income housing, this apartment building has since been demolished, replaced by fancy condominiums. As a sort of ceremony for the building before its demolition, myself and a large group of artists painted the inside apartments and halls, before having a weekend long show/celebration of the space. This mural was approximately 12’ x 8’, painted with acrylic and enamel paints, also incorporating acrylic block print.

 

Centrum Residency (2015)

(2015) Centrum Residency at Fort Worden in Development of Psychic Radio Star

 

In residency at Centrum, Paurl Walsh, Anthony Rigano, Danielle Blackwell and myself worked to generate source imagery and build a sound library for use in development of Psychic Radio Star. Paurl Walsh took sine wave recordings of each unique room/space with any amount of reverberation. This allowed us to extract an exact copy of the echo of each space at Fort Worden. Photographic documentation by Anthony Rigano created the building blocks for ideas that would grow into the performance work Psychic Radio Star.

 

Photos by Anthony Rigano

Dinosaurs And Sea Hawks (2014) film

(2014) Video, short film.

 

Sleeping under a bridge is a man and his dinosaur mask. Waking up, he walks into the heart of the city and puts on his mask. A friend, a stranger, a kindred soul emerges and the mask is passed off and traded. The man watches and then walks away with a Sea Hawks hat.
Inspired by creating performance gifts for my schizophrenic mother Dinosaurs and Sea Hawks is another story in my ongoing performance works. The dinosaur mask is intended as a reminder of childhood and quite literally a mask to hide from the harsh reality of the world through my mother’s eyes. 
Directed, filmed and edited by Linas Phillips. 
Written and acted in by Ezra Dickinson. 

Featuring Melinda Fraizer.

 

Screenings:
(2015) In Flight Film Stream, Alaska Airlines. 
(2014) Film Screening, Seattle International Film Festival, Seattle WA 
(2014) Film Screening, Milwaukee Film Festival, Milwaukee WI 
(2014) Film Screening, AMFEST, Moscow Russia
(2014) Film Screening, Next dance Cinema, Seattle WA
(2014) Film Screening, Jaipur International Film Festival, Jaipur India 
(2014) Film Screening, Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival, Mumbai India 
(2014) Film Screening, Shorts Premier, Chile

Mother Quilt (2013)

(2013) quilt created for the performance of Mother for you I made this.

 

Sourcing ideas and imagery from my childhood of wanting to be able to wrap myself in my mother’s arms turned into creating a portrait of my mother and sewing that into a quilt that I could wrap myself in. This was the first quilt I have ever made, but was definitely not my last. I used four 3’x5’ tiled sections of photographic fabric to create this 5’x7’ portrait of my mother Kathryn. 
 

Photo Anthony Rigano

Velocity Bash, Photo Jim Colman

Rainbow and Kris’ Quilt (2013)

(2013) wedding quilt

 

Initially I was asked to create a backdrop for wedding attendees to use for taking photographs. I couldn’t just make something that was going to only have one use, so the backdrop turned into a wedding quilt gift complete with a portrait of the bride and groom. This was my second quilt of the year, but by far the most complicated sewing project I have ever undertaken. The size is 10’x7’ and is built from eleven different colors cut and stitched down piece by piece.