Sonya Kelliher-Combs, (b. 1969)
Collection of the Anchorage Museum, 2019.3.3ae
In this work by Athabascan and Iñupiaq artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs, the artist has created a mark running along the pelts of several animals—seal, caribou, beaver, musk ox, and polar bear. These animals are critical to the lifeways of Athabascan and Iñupiat peoples, and Kelliher-Combs often incorporates them into her work. Her emphatic gouge through the skins draws attention to the fact that humans are constantly leaving their mark on the environment, with pipelines, roads, and other modifications that negatively impact the land that humans and animals depend on for survival.