A Space for Women of the World
This image is one in a series of photos I took of my friend Emily, made while attending a photography class in alternative processes. With a negative produced from the original digital image, I handprinted this piece, using the Van Dyke process. The body painted motifs were inspired by her serpent tattoo. My body paint work often begins with a conversation with the model, as I like to incorporate imagery personally significant to the model into my designs. For me, body painting is largely about respecting and celebrating unique individuals.
In these photos, my good friend Weetzie W. becomes a Raven, signified by her formline-inspired wings, as an honoring of her Tlingit heritage and as an expression of my love for Northwest Coast art. Launching future back-painted work, this was one of the first times I body painted another person in this fashion.
Neebinnaukzhik Southall (Chippewas of Rama First Nation) is a graphic designer and an artist, working in a variety of media such as photography, bodypainting, and sculpture. She runs a small creative business under the name Neebin Studios (www.neebin.com). At Oregon State University, she graduated Magna Cum Laude in June 2011, earning an Honors BFA through the University Honors College and OSU’s competitive graphic design program, with a minor in Fine Arts. She is a contributor to First American Art Magazine, where she writes a column on Native-made graphic design.