Tseka ~ One Dance

Tseka is a Heiltsuk word meaning One Dance or sacred : carrying formless into form. It is the singular of Tsetseka, the winter dance cycle of the Northwest Coast Indians. When the big storms blew in off the Pacific and filled the tops of the firs in late autumn, it signaled a time of going inward. Those who were initiates of the secret societies presented dances with masks in elaborate performances where even the nuance of breath was important. Tsetseka was the bridge between the phenomenal world and the readily seen.

As a young girl growing up on a Salish Reservation, I waited for the school bus under the outstretched wings of Thunderbird and would watch the rain roll down the big belly of Blackfish: the Orca who carries Moon on her back.

Giant totems, myths and the Northland herself carry their songs and stories into me. They twine with ancient memories from the Circle of Hel remembered in the Eddas and song cycles of my Scandinavian ancestors to re-emerge in paintings.

When I stand on the beach, I do not wish to just listen with enchantment to the waves rolling in, I want them to roll though me, so I become the soft lap of the incoming tide lost in mist on a winter shore.

Many impressions, visual image, emotion, memory, the power of all elements, join to transform place into painting.

These works flow out of my love for the land and my desire to perceive the deeper nature of the universe.

They are mere allusions to a fleeting moment, meant to stir the memories of a viewer whose personal experiences carry each painting into an individual completion.

This is my one dance, my passion, my tseka.