‘Pocahontas – Inspired by Her Intelligence and Bravery’ celebrates the 17th century Native American Princess Pocahontas (Matoaka) and draws parallels between Native American and Manx culture and history. I have Native American heritage and strong connections to the Isle of Man (Manx) going back generations. Although the two cultures appear to have many ‘boundaries’ and differences between them, there are multiple similarities which I explore and celebrate in this painting through symbolism, colour and composition.

It was important to me to depict Pocahontas in an authentic way by referencing her real story and celebrating her heritage which includes focus on the Princess’s facial tattoos, a feature left out of portraits of her created at the time. I emphasise Pocahontas’s strength referring to significant female empowerment in both cultures historically and explore themes of womanhood and motherhood.  The strong associations both cultures have with spirituality and their land is also a focus along with the impact of invaders and subsequent restriction of culture. The striking four horned Manx Loaghtan sheep draw an interesting parallel with the nearly identical Native American Navajo-Churro sheep and emphasises the commonality between the two cultures.

This painting is currently on display at the ‘Boundaries’ exhibition, reproductions are available here and embellished canvas prints* can be ordered here.

Description

60cm (w) x 76cm (h) x 1cm (d) mixed media painting on stretched canvas, frame 64cm (w) x 80cm (h) x 3cm