Wakeah by Cara Romero
artist: Cara Romero
UK signed limited edition of 10
paper size: 52cm x 43cm, unframed
image size: 48.5cm x 36.3m
‘Wakeah’ is also available in a large scale 101cm x 80cm, UK edition of five, please contact the gallery for details.
Wakeah is the first in an ongoing series of fine art photographic portraits that Cara Romero calls her ‘First American Girl series’. Comanche woman Wakeah is photographed in a life size doll box, wearing full powwow dance regalia, surrounded by her accessories. This portrait celebrates the dignity, grace and glamour of the women that as a child Cara admired at the powwows.
“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
‘Wakeah’ was included in our exhibitions ‘We Are Native Women, 2017 and ‘Emergence 2020’.