Creation at DawnFrom the Artist - Nanibah Chacon:
The imagery on the wall incorporates three elements, the woman; the Chiefs blanket design and the bluebirds. The woman depicted in the design is to be a representation of “First Woman” or “Changing Woman.” In Navajo creation stories both of these women gave birth or conceived at dawn, thus giving life and lineage to the world as we know it. The incorporation of the chiefs blanket design is the representation of First Man or the Father, who merged with woman to cause creation. The blue birds in this image are the symbols of that creation. There are 4 birds to signify all that is sacred and meaningful in Navajo thought and way. The blue bird for Navajos signifies a new day beginning, as they are the birds that wake us in the morning, they are reminders that the dawn is upon us which signifies creation, creativity and the beginning of all things new and beautiful. The woman in the piece is releasing these birds and respectively they are flying in the direction of the window. The birds directed to a free space while the window itself is to welcome this experience for the viewer.
About Nanibah Chacon:
Nanibah “Nani” Chacon, is a Dine (Navajo) and Chicana artist who is known for her female figurative works which utilize bold colors and an illustrative format to incorporate commentary Native, Chicana and American culture. She uses female characters to explore ideas of feminism, sexuality, softness, power, culture, traditionalism and modernism. Nani was born in Gallup, New Mexico and grew up both in Chinli, Arizona and Corrales, New Mexico. Her clan is To dich iini (bitter water) and born for Nakai Dine (Mexican/ Spanish people). At 16 she was introduced to graffiti and began a prolific career as a graffiti writer, and continued this practice for the next 10 years, with the pregnancy and birth of her son, Nani gave up the risky world of street graffiti and began exploring other mediums and developed strong aptitude in oil painting. In further juxtaposition of graffiti she chose figurative work as a basis of subject matter. Nani uses an archetype of female characters to explore ideas of feminism, sexuality, imagination, form, shape, design, color, subtleness, softness and power, culture, traditionalism and modernism, encompassed in what could only be the attributes of a woman. Nani, currently exhibits across the United States and teaches art in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2004 she received her Bachelor’s in Art Education from the University of New Mexico. Nani was the recipient of the Reggie Gammon award in 2011. She received 2nd place in oil painting at the SWAIA 91st annual Santa Fe Indian Market, 2012, this was her first year exhibiting at Santa Fe Indian Market. In 2012, she returned to the realm of public arts in the realm of murals, creating a large scale 100 ft x 30 ft mural, which integrated radio transmission, for the International ISEA Arts and Technology Symposium and the City of Albuquerque. In 2013 she created a 30-foot mural at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock to accompany the first Contemporary all female exhibit in the space. Nanibah hopes to continue to work in this field to diversify and build upon concepts and techniques in the painting field.
Learn more at nanichacon.com.