Mercedes Dorame's exhibition Where Sky Touches Water brings together a collection of new and recent work, combining photography and sculpture to explore the profound beauty of our natural world. Dorame's lens captures the vibrant tapestry of our Native ecology and its elusive peripheries, inviting reflection on the delicate balance between the familiar and what lies beyond.
Inspired by her field research on the Channel Islands, focusing on Pimugna (Catalina Island) and Limuw (Santa Cruz Island), the exhibition’s images and sculptural works explore the liminal spaces of our ecological environment as gateways and portals to consider alternate realms—unseen cultural histories, dimensions beyond our consciousness, concealed presence. In this environment, darkness as a contemplative space evokes the ceremonial, guiding us through an expanse where the earthly and celestial intersect.
The exhibition's sculptural works, dark skies and waters serve as anchors, embodying physical inversions and thresholds into the unknown, while allowing for movement between realms. Dorame invites us to find tranquility in these spaces that may not be easily understood; embracing the subtle borders beyond the familiar—where sky touches water.
My art is an expression of many overlays of experience, of moving through the land and sky as an Indigenous person, being called a trespasser on my homelands and reconciling how to work through these experiences in an empowered way. I ask that we remember the ground we walk on, and who the original caretakers are, and I also remind us to look up. I collaborate with the earth and the cosmos to remove First Peoples from the past tense and reimagine our decolonized sovereign future. — Mercedes Dorame
This exhibition and related programming are made possible by generous support from the Kathryn Caine Wanlass Charitable Foundation.