Kaa by Cara Romero
artist: Cara Romero
UK signed limited edition of 10
paper size: 43cm x 48.5cm
image size: 35.5cm x 40.5cm
‘Kaa’ is also available in a large scale framed image (86cm x 77cm, UK edition of five), please contact the gallery for details.
This fine art photographic portrait was created as a tribute to Mud Woman.
As a Chemehuevi woman Cara Romero has a particular interest in female deities. From her husband Cochiti Pueblo potter Diego Romero, Cara learned of a Pueblo Indian deity known as Mud Woman. Mud Woman is the spirit of the clay and she is honoured by Pueblo Indian potters.
The model in this image is named Kaa. Kaa she is descended from a long line of Santa Clara Pueblo potters. The geometric designs that appear on Kaa’s body are the surface of an ancient Anasazi pottery beaker.
“In Chemehuevi (pronounced cheh-meh-WAY-vee), our Creator is a female deity. Her name is Great Ocean Woman (Hutsipamamau’u) and she created all the land and people from her body with the help (and sometimes mischief) of Wolf, Coyote and the Mountain Lion. There are several other female familiars during our early dawn stories. All of the females have great strength and diversity, they range from old to young, sometimes they are desirable, provocative and dangerous—sometimes they are nurturers and healers with the most powerful medicine.
From a very young age, Chemehuevi women are taught that their innate strength as a woman and life giver is all-powerful, maybe sometimes even supernatural, and we are respected as equals in Chemehuevi society. We hold power in government and historically in battle. This unique perspective shows up throughout my art. It is always my intention to visualize this inherent Chemehuevi belief in the all- powerful, supernatural strength of women. It is a gentle but powerful shift to see Native women portrayed in this way from an indigenous female perspective.
I am deeply committed to making work that addresses Native American social issues and changes the way people perceive Native Americans, especially Native women, in contemporary society. If we want respect, love and beauty among us and others, we must actively promote it through our art.” CR
Cara Romero is a born visual storyteller with a distinctive lens shaped by years of study, a visceral Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural memory, collective history, her own personal experience and a compassionate and keen sense of visual narrativity. Romero is the proud mother of two boys, Paris and Noel, the wife of the dynamic and highly regarded contemporary Pueblo artist Diego Romero, and the daughter of a Chemehuevi father and a German-Irish mother. Romero studied photography at both the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Oklahoma State University and studied cultural anthropology at the University of Houston.
Her photography – a mélange of fine art and documentary-style – is a sometimes whimsical, often complex interplay of social commentary, adaptation and examination of modern culture with a distinctly modern Indigenous world view. It is multi-layered, meant to be experienced from a multi-verse of perspectives and invites viewers – mainstream and connoisseurs of Indian art alike – to enter into its nuanced visual architecture with an open mind, and a willingness to abandon pre-conceived notions about Native art, culture, and peoples.
“Native American art is as diverse as our people. Photography is a newly emerging art form for contemporary Native American artists who are creating groundbreaking, heart clenching work from deep inside our indigenous identities, cultures and landscapes.” CR