Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos)
looking for the land///found the weather
January 5, 2023 - February 25, 2023
Elizabeth Leach Gallery is pleased to present our first exhibition by Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos) which features recent paintings, sculpture, and installation. Titled looking for the land///found the weather, the exhibition is on view through February 25, 2023 with a First Thursday reception on January 5, 2023 and February 2, 2023.
Sara Siestreem is a multidisciplinary artist who combines painting, photography, printmaking, weaving, and large-scale installation. Siestreem’s work includes social practice relating to institutional reform, community engagement and curatorial and educational practices surrounding Indigenous fine art.
In the first gallery a painting installation titled medicine fills the space and features vibrantly colored multi-panel paintings on wood and on paper. Coupled with the paintings is an installation titled research. This is comprised of natural material woven baskets, 3D printed baskets, and slip cast ceramic baskets. She shared these as wayfinding objects, markers into and out of the spatial constellation.
In the second gallery, a multimedia installation titled ceremony includes sculpture, and paintings that interweave our collective reality of the present, coexisting with the past. Individual artworks communicate broader narratives through a kind of visual symbiosis. Bundles of suspended sweetgrass braids titled babies breath are situated next to the painted diptych, grannies, set in conversation to the sculptural work, minion: four-legged spider. In the large-scale painting summertime, dynamic black and white geometric shapes of triangles and rectangles combine with the expressionistic immediacy of graphite lines and drippy, gestural red and yellow paints alongside photographic xeroxed imagery of objects and the artist’s hands. The work resonates with an expansiveness that energetically extends beyond the edges of the massive, seven-foot-tall artwork. The intimate space heightens the immersive experience as the carefully considered arrangements hint at bodily entities as a confrontation of erasure and invisible, violent histories.
With titles that entangle the contemporary and the ancient, her works combine allusion and metaphor and are exemplified in her recent titles including sun-flare, moonbeams, fastened to the rock (blood, sweat, and tears), tea with Kathleen, about a dead queen, lovers land mass (sea fret), black holes in the news (hot air), the us postal service wins seven times, here my dear (made in quarantine, to save your life), blue on the inside, lilac, and blue butterflies. The titles intrigue, invite, and simultaneously safeguard their own stories; an act of love, refusal, and resistance.