Marie Watt (b. 1967) is an American artist. Her work draws from history, biography, protofeminism, and Indigenous principles, and addresses the interaction of the arc of history with the intimacy of memory. She uses materials that are conceptually attached to narrative: in particular, exploring the stories connected with commonplace woolen blankets, cedar, and iron.

Studio news

Photograph by Aaron Johanson

New work unveiled at Northwestern University's Block Museum of Art

I’m in Evanston, IL, where on Thursday night at 6 p.m., we’ll unveil Companion Species: Ferocious Mother and Canis Familiaris, a piece commissioned by The Block Museum of Art for If You Remember, I’ll Remember, an exhibition curated by Janet Dees of works that explore “themes of love, mourning, war, relocation, internment, resistance, and civil rights in 19th and 20th century North America.” The show includes works by Kristine Aono, Shan Goshorn, Samantha Hill, McCallum & Tarry, and Dario Robleto. I am honored to have been included, and it’s always wonderful to work with Janet.

Companion Species was sewn in community at two sewing circles held at the Block in February of 2017. The turnout at these events was such—over 200 participants—that the final piece ended up significantly larger than planned. My thanks to all who helped: I hope to see all of you on Thursday.

Photograph by Aaron Johanson

VoCA Talks in Denver; Denver Art Museum acquires Butterfly

I’m in Denver this week: this evening, I’m talking with artist and oral historian James McElhinney as part of Voices in Contemporary Art’s VoCA Talks program.

The program is being held at the Denver Art Museum’s Sharp Auditorium at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public; if you’re in the Denver area, come by and say hello.

I’m also delighted to announce that DAM has acquired Butterfly, one of the pieces we made for SITE Santa Fe’s Unsuspected Possibilities show last year. I love this piece and can’t think of a better home for it. Many thanks to DAM (especially Chief Curator and Curator of Native Arts Nancy Blomberg and Associate Curator John Lukavic) and to PDX Contemporary Art for making it happen.

Recent work

Photograph by Aaron Johanson

Companion Species: Ferocious Mother and Canis Familiaris, 2017, 2017

Companion Species: Ferocious Mother and Canis Familiaris, 2017,
108 × 219 in.
Reclaimed wool blankets, embroidery floss
Commissioned by curator Janet Dees for If You Remember, I’ll Remember at the Block Museum of Art, 04 Feb – 18 Jun, 2017
Photograph by Aaron Johanson

I think a lot about the symbiotic relationships humans have with the natural world and each other. This echoes Seneca and Iroquois teachings: We are all related, and Animals are our first teachers. These panels reflect on the She-wolf as a shelter, as a mother, as companion species. The She-wolf is mother-like, but not just in the biological sense: our ecosystem needs balanced relationships in order to thrive. These community-embroidered text panels combine to create a larger ground for more extensive embroidery.

Photograph by Aaron Johanson

Companion Species (Mother), 2017

Companion Species (Mother),
16.5 × 22.25 in.
Copperplate etching, edition of 20
Printed at Smith College in collaboration with Julia D’Amario
Photograph by Aaron Johanson

Etching printed in tan, brown, blue and black on Hahnemuhle paper. Soft ground, aquatint, drypoint and burnishing.