Marie Watt: Heirloom

March 19 2009 - June 28 2009

Internationally known artist Marie Watt talks about her upcoming exhibition "I am still working with the notion of heirlooms, and the cameo as "an heirloom" like vehicle for my image-making. The first phase of my project, a secular operatic interpretation of First Nations mingled histories featuring coyote and his animal relations, is a project that I am going to begin working on with the Fabric Workshop and Museum and that I hope to debut at the Missoula Art Museum. I am excited about the programming possibilities as it relates to the local native community and community at large.

My work explores human stories and rituals implicit in everyday objects. I am interested in the history of wool blankets and their heirloom-like quality. Freud considered blankets as "transitional" objects, but I like to consider how these humble pieces of cloth are transformational. Blankets are a part of how we are received into the world and also how we depart this world. Blankets are used for warmth and shelter. Children use them for hiding and to construct impromptu forts. A blanket is a catcher of dreams and a ledger of secrets. Wool blankets are the pelts of our animal relatives, the sheep. Blankets are body-like."

Artist Alexia Beckerling spent several days with Marie Watt while she was in Oregon. Watch the video here.