America! America! by John Hitchcock

John Hitchcock is a visual artist whose work explores the intersection between cultures through the land, language and visual symbols of the Great Plains. Hitchcock draws from his experiences growing up on native land that sits adjacent to Fort Sills in Oklahoma, which serves as the current homelands of the Comanche, Kiowa and Apache Nations. He utilizes drawing and printmaking processes to convey personal symbols and layers of thoughts about removal, displacement, and belonging. The artwork examines notions of safety, security and protection, not just of country, but our environment and flora and fauna.

The base for Hitchcock’s imagery in America! America!, revolve around the relationship between U.S. Military base Fort Sill, The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Reserve, Medicine Park, Oklahoma and his families Comanche Tribal Land. All of these communities have shaped and contributed to the building of the American landscape and the development of contemporary tribal perspectives. Hitchcock uses images of beads, bombs, floral patterns to speak about issues of Indigenous historical trauma. Many of the images are interpretations of stories told by his Kiowa/Comanche grandparents and abstract representations influenced by beadwork, land, and culture.

In addition, Hitchcock investigates the complicated history of the U.S. Military and their relationship to Native People through the imagery of the helicopter. Those seen in America! America! are each named after the Comanche, Kiowa and Apache people by the U.S. Military. Hitchcock investigates how the helicopters have a duality, one to honor the military service of our Native people and second, to create a dialogue about the issues of war and assimilation. The images refer to positive and negative themes; cultural pride and fear.

You can learn more about John Hitchcock here.