As a citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Marie Watt engages Indigenous knowledge to forge new relationships and remember connectedness. Encountering a John Singer Sargent portrait portraying a dog with an unfurled tongue, Watt remembers the Seneca creation story that teaches that animals are our First Teachers. She writes, “The dog’s tongue reminded me of mine, an emblem of relatedness. Tongues allow us to speak, but they come with responsibilities to speak up for those in need of protection.”

Asking, ‘What if we are Companion Species?,’ Watt’s new work, including a tongue-inspired carpet for performance and play, contemplation and storytelling, will imagine what could happen if we lived as kin.

(Excerpt and image above selected from grant proposal. Artwork is copyright of the artist.)