Rhiannon Skye Tafoya -Ul’nigid’

FOBA 2021 Juried Exhibition

Completed 2020
Editions: 44
Dimensions: 11” x 11.25” closed; 11.25” x 23.5” x 5.625” assembled
Materials: handmade paper, paper, ink, book board, book cloth, magnets
Artist resides in Lawrence, Kansas

Printing was achieved using photopolymer plates, Cherokee metal type & bembo metal type. Ul’nigid’ is a poetic narrative and visual representation of my personal memories of my maternal Grandmother; she was a medicine-woman, a basket-weaver, and a fluent speaker of the Cherokee language. Ul’nigid’ was uniquely designed to represent a basket, which not only reminds me of her, it also shows how the basket can hold life, stories, and memories. Ul’nigid’ mimics her being and each of the writings within the book share themes of home, language, healing, love, and lineage, which are essential to Indigenous survivance. This was exponentially significant during the making of this book, because I was pregnant with my first child, Otis Kila Kanosdaya Bark-Swimmer. Creating Ul’nigid’ allowed organic story-sharing between my child and my grandmother, which highlights the importance of caretaking for future lineages while simultaneously honoring ancestors. The title, Ul’nigid’ translates to “strong” which she truly was in the most delicate way. 

Rhiannon Skye Tafoya (Lawrence, Kansas)

Skye Tafoya (b. 1989) is an Indigenous artist from the Eastern Band Cherokee and Santa Clara Pueblo tribes. Her heritage and lineage are significant components that are continuously present within her work. Skye has worked in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional forms ranging in sizes from hand-held to life-size. She creates work using serigraph and letterpress printmaking, and through paper-weaving, and bookmaking. Her work and designs are influenced by basketry and contain themes of cultural teachings, Cherokee language preservation, and personal and family narratives.