Tia Salmela Keobounpheng (aka Tia Keo)

Tia Salmela Keobounpheng (aka Tia Keo)

Artist Statement

My work is rooted in intuition, materiality, and process. It is inspired by the ancient, the modern, the female experience, and the act of granting oneself permission. It is deeply personal and tied to my own process of emergence but the themes are universal. What was once suppressed, quieted, and made palatable was given oxygen by coming-of-age maturity, the MeToo movement, and a permission slip. Through an intuitive process of multidisciplinary handwork, I follow a vision into material manifestation. Themes of women’s work, women’s armor, blood memory, and transformation emerge in ways I don’t always envision and new layers of meaning materialize. It is only through facing ourselves that we can begin to change the injustices in the world. Twenty years ago I did not see an example of the kind of artist I wanted to be. I’m finally brave enough to become that artist, myself.