Gathering Rushes, by Mark Shelton

| /

Gathering Rushes

A Kutenai man gathers reeds for basketry, medicine, and food. This work is based on a photograph taken by photographer Edward Curtis in 1910, on Flathead Lake in Northern Montana.

The Kutenai were semi-nomadic and occupied portions of southeastern British Columbia, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana, moving seasonally to follow food sources. The Kutenai usually crafted their canoes of pine bark, but as illustrated here, occasionally made canoes of fresh elk hides stretched over a framework of fir strips. The rushes gathered in mountain lakes were dried and strung together into mats, lodge coverings, and other utilitarian items.

Notable papers in this piece include marigold petal, Thai mango leaf, tamarind, hemp, a synthetic paper that changes from orange to gold in different lighting (the sky portion of the work), printed dragonfly, raised vine, blue tamarind leaf, slate blue metallic-painted handmade paper, embossed pebble, and caramel swirled paper to define the curvilinear surface of the canoe. Mark painted each reed with a single stroke.

  • 24" x 36" x 1.5"
  • Hand-stretched gallery wrap (imagery continues on sides of the frame.)

Mark Shelton, Seneca, Honorary Chinook Tribal Artist, Oregon

read Mark's bio here