Upper Klehini Valley artist Adrian Revenaugh is constructing a fiber arts piece inspired by history, landscape and personal experience.
Revenaugh’s creation is displayed on a raised wood pavilion constructed by her husband, Jeff Bochart, in the middle of Haines’ Fort Seward. It’s one of several public art pieces made by locals for the Fort Seward Sculpture Garden project.
Revenaugh’s piece is centered on a fictional character named Jessie she imagines lived and worked in Haines in the early 1900s.
“I came upon a character in my heart that has found her way up to the Fort, probably 1910 or so. She’s working on Soap Suds Alley.”
Revenaugh is using materials from the Upper Klehini Valley, including a mountain goat hide.
“The mountain goat was the backbone essential for all fiber arts in the Chilkat Valley. All the weaving came from the mountain goat wool. It’s a very significant beast we’ve learned to live with and harvest.”
The figure will hang from the wooden pavilion along with other objects. Revenaugh is positioning it so that it catches the wind. All of the objects she’ll incorporate are from the upper valley.
“This person is from that realm, and she’s welcoming the world that came all of a sudden, very quickly. Very quickly the universe changed. Two universes collided. The Tlingit universe evolved on this landscape and it had not been disturbed or altered in the mythological worldview for centuries. And in a span of eight to 10 years, the universe turned upside down.”
It’s not just a visual piece. Revenaugh plans to texture the story of ‘Jessie’ by writing historical fiction letters and placing them in a mailbox near the installation.
“I’m hoping it will spark questions. I’m hoping people will say ‘what the heck is that about?'”
The Alaska Arts Confluence project is funded by a grant from the ArtPlace America Foundation.
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