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Lyla Wortham: capstone




Wortham, Lyla, artist

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The artist's statement: My work deals with narratives, often with an autobiographical or cultural tilt. I work with imagery that has do with contemporary issues faced by Indigenous cultures in America, especially within my own Navajo heritage. The imagery is violent, focused on themes such as racism, domestic tension, and abuse. There is personal reflection in my work that deals with the struggle to learn about my heritage in a post colonial, post genocidal society. The issue of identity- and the historical, contemporary, and familial influences that make up identity is a universal issue. I work with materials that have some historical aspect to my heritage, such as beading and weaving techniques. I use found images and objects in my artwork, to create a sense of location for the viewer and engagement into the space of the piece. I work two dimensionally with a heavy focus on drawing. Charcoal, ink, and markers are the mark making tools I mainly use. My work is heavily symbolic, with recurring objects, characters, and colors that are supposed to act as sigils to the viewer- an alphabet to read the narrative. Oftentimes I do include text, in Navajo and English, meant to a certain extent to be cryptic. Rather than making literal sense as a section of prose, I strive to include words and phrases that lend to the overall feel of a visual work, a stream of consciousness piece of thought that would not dominate the viewer's interpretation of content. I create my own way of storytelling.


Colorado State University Art Department capstone project.
Capstone contains the artist's statement, a list of works, and images of works.

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