Jill Watts

mixed media

My Art reflects my life and my life reflects my Art.

This Ancestor Stick is a celebration of the strengths in family and community.  It is dedicated to the people who in many ways formed who I am today.  Relatives present through family stories became as real as the storytellers. People are portrayed more than once since they changed as they aged.  Each person was painted onto a fabric circle representing pages of my life story.  I stopped painting realizing that there was no end to these influences and that in some ways my Peace Corps service was an honoring of those who made my current life possible through their labors.  The circles are mounted on a stick representing my backbone and the strength I received from each person. “Ancestors” was intended to elaborate on our interconnectedness, the fact that each interaction changes us and through these interactions we come to know ourselves.  These images are not solid or static. Our view of others and the world is seen through the filter of past experiences. We “carry” these people with us whether or not they are still physically present.