Red Can 2017 - "WAKANYEJA" / by SCAPE Martinez

My contribution to RED CAN 2017, painted on a 40 foot trailer.

My contribution to RED CAN 2017, painted on a 40 foot trailer.

Red Can 2017... an amazing three days of art, action, love, and community.

These words are just a snippet from my experience as a guest artist...

... as everyone drew and sketched their ideas, I didn't... I chose to read and throw some paint around... I doodled, as I explained to one of the kids, "I was trying to catch a flow",... something that I could capture, that had a deeper meaning for me. As the hours progressed to days, there was morning prayer, evening reflection, and deep introspection about the community, about the artists, about the youth, about the people. At a few points something moved my spirit... and moved me to tears, it was about depression, and suicide.

It was on me, for hours, I couldn't shake it. I was familiar with it, keenly familiar with those things,... and I wanted to do something against that... I wanted to do something that was life affirming, that was celebratory. It is the only way that I can phrase it... as it came to me, it just needed to be "AGAINST THAT".

I mulled it over in my head, and settled in on the fact that it was my purpose, my duty,  in some small way was to bring light to this conversation. I spoke to others.. "What do you think about this?"... "What do you suggest?"... "What word or phrase in Lakota culture affirms life?"... "How can I approach this delicately, with integrity, with conviction?"... the word that was given was "WAKANYEJA"... Google it.

I wanted to spark dialogue, I wanted to celebrate life, I wanted my work and presence to be a small voice to speak into that situation... the word "WAKANYEJA" has such a deep meaning, and truth to it, and I want anyone who sees this piece to reflect on it. Preserve it, as you ARE "the little sacred ones"...

Left side angled view.

Left side angled view.

Right angle view.

Right angle view.

Detail view,... no need for anything extra...

Detail view,... no need for anything extra...

This was the business, we came to give, and we gave till the wheels fell of... eternally grateful.

This was the business, we came to give, and we gave till the wheels fell of... eternally grateful.