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niizhoo morningstar redskye

Dec 1, 2023 – Jan 14, 2024
Window Gallery

This collection from artist niizhoo (shawna) morningstar redskye is a deeply personal offering — an honoring and recounting of the artist’s healing journey tracking breaking down, opening and beginning to rebuild. The imprints, fingerprints, remain visible. 

Vessel Artist Statements: 

memory | now called broken memory 

“When I first created this vessel, they were made to honor my own vessel, as they were the first piece that I made for myself, made to honor what I hold in this world. calling in helpers to hold that vessel with me, hold myself with me. You can still see my fingerprints inside of the piece. They were never fired. But last year my vessel couldn’t hold anymore. The trauma was too overwhelming. It felt as though nothing, no vessel, was big enough to hold the pain. Because of ones who tried to make me be how they wanted me to be. Contained. And the smashing of this vessel was my refusal. All of the things at once; pain, grief, rage, fracture, and breaking point. A complex memory of grief and relief.” 

jiibay powaagan | ghost pipe 

“This vessel is an honoring of a beloved, prolific plant relative, jiibay powaagan. They walk alongside us through realms, holding the deepest of roots, making room for breath again.” 

na(a)me | sturgeon 

“This one is for my love, my partner. Na(a)me is a profound teacher in healing and holding me every day while in deep pain and grief, for myself and generations beyond my comprehension. Helping me to understand the weight of our blood. That only we can carry ourselves through those thresholds of healing. The fiercest protector. Ancient one, so old. They have held onto the knowledge of how to clear pain and anything unwanted from their bodies by passing through realms from the depths of the water into the sky and back down into the water releasing upon impact.” 

waabanang | east

“This vessel speaks to the eastern doorway, waabanang, where that morningstar rises, where new life begins.” 

Artist Bio

niizhoo morningstar redskye is of the Caribou clan. She is two spirit and queer of Anishinaabe and Irish ancestors, and a visitor living, loving, and creating in Wabanaki territory (Maine) alongside their spouse, darling nimosh (dog) and river relative, the Kennebec. Find Morning Star Ceramics online and on Instagram

niizhoomigizi ndizhinikaaz, atik ndoodem kekekoziibiing ndoonjibaa, waabanaki megwaa ndidaa, anishinaabe irish niizhmanidoog ndaaw.

In her work with waabigan | clay, Niizhoo makes room for voice and stories to emerge — forms she has come to call “story vessels.” She creates both wheel thrown and hand-built vessels, utilizing surface-decorating techniques with slips, underglazes, and sgraffito technique — creation and reduction. It is her prayer to remember and restore ancient relationship practices with waabigan — to honor their voice and the voices and stories of ancestors and non-human relatives. Niizhoo carries this responsibility with reverence, care, and an awareness and rejection of the compounding colonial systems within and around us. 

She has facilitated various workshops, including a 2-day Clay and Pit Firing workshop at Ose: Kenhionhata:tie Land Back Camp in partnership with CAFKA & University of Waterloo Faculty of Arts. She has also shown work in various settings, including the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery where she had her first solo exhibition (2019/2020), “A Remembering” star stories & waterbodies,” and has participated in group shows including the Canadian Ceramics Congress Online Exhibition (2021) and the Say Anything Plate Show! (2022).

Full CV online