Always Becoming: Nora Naranjo-Morse's Vision of Change and Renewal
Since the summer of 2007, Always Becoming—a group of clay sculptures artist Nora Naranjo-Morse (Santa Clara Pueblo) describes as a family—has graced the landscape of the National Museum of the American Indian. Nora's work, selected unanimously by the museum from proposals offered by Native artists from throughout the Western Hemisphere, has become a popular, and unusually humble, Washington landmark.
From the beginning, Nora embraced the idea that the environment would collaborate in shaping her sculptures, although she and members of her non-metaphorical family have returned to the museum each year to provide stewardship for the work. Between now and October 1, they are here to see Always Becoming into a new phase. "The proposed second phase allows us not only to revisit the original concept of Always Becoming," she says, "but to understand and articulate the knowledge of change and renewal."
The museum will update Nora's photo diary whenever she takes a break to talk about the work. —NMAI
Day 1—A new generation of people is working on Always Becoming, phase 2. Benito Steen was 16 when he worked on the original project. He is now 26. Eliza, my daughter, and her partner John Cross are also on the team, and they bring their important skill sets. It's exciting to be back and to be looking and working on Always Becoming again, it's like coming back to family. —Nora Naranjo–Morse
Day 2—Forming foundations, collecting materials, connecting community. —NNM
Day 7—Benito's blueprints and collections of clay.
Days 10 & 11—Moving to the tee pee form known as Taa, John and Benito worked shaving and charring the inner ring of posts.
Eliza, Emily, and I worked on adding more clay balls and refining the lines in the mud forms.
Photos by Nora Naranjo-Morse and her family
and colleagues on the Always Becoming project team.