Fields, Anita – “Memory Purse” Clay, 7 Pieces (2000)
This clay purse by Anita Fields is one of her most iconic forms. It is made from clay and there are 6 pieces that sit inside the purse. Anita says of her purses:
Fields goes on to explain, “Constructed, pressed, and arranged clay forms serve as metaphors for personal and cultural ideology. On small bits of torn clay, I create textures and patterns by impressing personal objects that are meaningful and important to me, the fragments of clay are then collaged onto earthen shapes. The objects used for impressions are varied and can be as simple as twigs, stones, shells, or materials found during a walk or travel to a new landscape. They can be a favorite pair of earrings, a piece of textured cloth, ribbon-work patterns from our traditional clothing, or imprints from a beaded purse.
The purses are both about women and cultural identity. This is a “Memory” purse which has flowers on the outside. Inside is a cloth bundle made by Anita, on which the pieces sit. There is a mirror made in the shape of a hand (hand mirror). The hair comb has stamped clay designs on both sides. The dragonfly is a representative of dreams and prayers. The turtle is about children and life. Finally, there is a small “bundle” which is the memory bundle in which the owner of the purse keeps her memories. There is a wonderful combination of items and a beautiful context of stories within the clay.
“I have a choice…There is a time for each of us to step up and be apart of the culture.” Anita recognizes there is a powerful connection that is made for her through cultural teachings. [Her] hand formed ceramic works led to references found in the Osage genesis narratives.” Anita Fields, Fluent Generations
The piece is from 2000. It is signed on the bottom, “Anita Fields”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. Definitely iconic and something she rarely makes anymore!