Creativity 2020 - Art from Community

Cortney Jean Metzger Gallery

Cortney Jean Metzger, artist
Memories of Performance, 2020
Oklahoma natural clay, Missouri natural Clay, porcelain

Drawing from and inspired by my Osage heritage, I work in a variety of media, including video performance, textiles, and raw clay materials harvested from the lands that are sacred to me and my people. When the flow of life pulled me away, I became disconnected to who I was. I felt that I was not tan enough, my hair not black enough, or my blood red enough to claim my native heritage. After separating myself from my land and family, the things that make me Osage, I felt lost. Needing to reconnect with my grandfathers, I began to remind myself of who I am. I adopted new ritualistic motions with my body and harvested clay from the earth to rebuild my confidence and remind myself that culture is more than skin deep. I use my body to explore these ideas of identity and create a visual language that conveys the sense of duality that I am experiencing.

I have gathered clay from my family’s allotted land in Fairfax and clay from the banks of waters in southern Missouri where our people were removed from in the beginning of colonialization. Putting this clay, this land that my grandfathers once walked, directly on my body as a new form of personal ceremony helps remind me where I came from and reconnect to the things that have been lost in me.

819 Grandview Ave. Pawhuska, OK 74056 (918) 287-5441