|Posted on February 18, 2011 at 9:24 PM|
I became familiar with the Uranium Mine, at a very young age as a majority of my relatives including my Dad, had worked there at the time. For me as a young child, the Mine was this big man-made hole with different colors of sand. At times, it would reseamble an ant hill and at other times, a dragon spewing yellow-colored vapors from deep below the earth.Usually, when I would hear the siren from the Mine, I knew they were going to blast. And being curious,I would stand outside and watch, this huge cloud of dust, make it's way over to the village.The ground would shake as if this dragon was turning over, beneath the gound. Dust floating everywhere....consuming the village. In reality, the Anaconda - Jackpile Mine was once considered the world's largest open-pit Uranium Mine. It also contained the highest level of radiation tailings and was located less than 1000ft., away from the Village of Paguate.
In retrospect, I did not understand the degree of how the landscape had affected the people?? Until, one Summer day when one of my relatives came to the house to visit and with her, to vistors from Japan. She introduced me to her friends, a Buddhist monk and a young lady whom she called her "other" granddaughter. Although our visit was brief, we mainly talked about radiation and the effects that it had on the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The visit really inspired to me to look deeper into my own imagery that I was creating...to create something that just wasn't some pretty allegory of life on the Pueblo.
At the end of our visit, the Buddhist monk and I, exchanged gifts. I gave him a print of one of my images and in return, he gave me a bell which he had carved out of wood. The image on the wooden bell; two dragons holding the earth, together.