ta̱ḵ̕wa Mask (the Octopus)

Clinton Work

Red cedar, horsehair, canvas, copper, paint
20½” x 30½” x 18" as shown


This exceptionally powerful image of ta̱ḵ̕wa (the Octopus) features hand-sewn canvas and wired arms that are fully bendable and adjustable. Based on the historic use of found material, especially after contact, this feature is a throwback to the industriousness of the artists of the past. Showing the use of painted cottons and gingham with stitched-in-place copper rings as the tentacle’s suckers, a fully imaginable and danceable mask is represented in part as it may have appeared in the historic past. The hand-tooled finish of the wood and multiple layers of variable paint exaggerate the texture and chromatophores of the Octopus’ skin, reflecting its unparalleled ability to change colors and to camouflage itself at will.