From the Artist - Leandra Yazzie:
My grandmother and aunt are known weavers, who are still practicing the intricate traditional skill. Being raised with these female role models and observing them weave, inspired the idea for this mural. When I was young, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother and her colorful world of weaving. When I stayed with her, I would fall asleep to the steady thumping of the weaving comb and the sound still remains soothing to me to this day. Slowly, I became entranced with the complex, geometric shapes that took their form as the rug progressed. I was intrigued by how easily her vision could be conveyed into the rug that was being woven in front of me. The Tree of Life was a beautiful image that she repeatedly wove in her rugs, and I felt a sentimental attachment to the style because I was used to always seeing it when I was with my grandmother. The Tree of Life represents all life on earth and the harmony that exists between them. I wanted to incorporate the origami birds on the wall because it signified the birds in the rug coming to life, as I had liked to imagine in my younger years. The two-grey hills-styled rug that is blanketed in the closet and bathroom of this hotel room in Albuquerque is another style of weaving that my grandmother mastered. Aside from me sharing the Navajo culture and my memories, I used the bright colors in my work to give vibrant and renewed feeling to the piece that would be conveyed to the viewers who see it. The reason why I incorporated the lambs and baby goats into the piece is that they portray the playful nature and colorful experience of growing up on the Navajo Nation.
About Leandra Yazzie:
Leandra Yazzie was born in Chinle, Arizona and raised in the rural area called Blue Gap, Arizona. The small community is located in the heart of the Navajo Nation. She grew up around traditional Navajo values and teachings, which were instilled into her daily life and continues to be a major aspect of her work. Surrounded by Nature’s beauty and its vivid colors, Leandra became inspired to draw. As a self-taught artist, her skills progressed and she began to explore other art forms. In her earlier years, she dabbled in graffiti-styled art and began to incorporate cultural ideas into her work. Being raised by strong and empowering women inspired the concrete foundation that led to her current themes in her art.