Diné artist Zachariah Ben uses sand and pigments made out of crushed minerals and stones, including chrysocolla and gypsum, to create sandpaintings that tell stories and reinterpret the universe.
“Íikáh’ Dííyííníí: Sacred Sands” is a solo show opening at Ellsworth Gallery on December 15 that features new paintings by 21-year old Ben, who is training to become a Navajo Medicine Man.
“I use ritualistic designs to make contemporary pieces, but I don’t use these designs in exactly the same ways they are used in rituals so a deity is not fixed into a piece,” explains Ben. “The entire process is a ritual for me. I say prayers every morning before I work with sand that I have gathered and pigments that I have ground from a variety of stones. I use colors to tell the stories.” [Read More…]