Vanessa Dion Fletcher uses porcupine quills, Wampum belts and menstrual blood to reveal the complexities of what defines a body physically and culturally. She links these ideas to personal experiences with language, fluency and understanding. All of these themes are brought together in the context of her Potawatomi and Lenape ancestry, and her learning disability caused by a lack of short-term memory. These experiences have caused a fractured and politicized perspective of language.
In Writing Landscape 2010, Dion Fletcher developed a technique of marking copper plates by wearing them on her feet and walking. “This work began in my mouth with my voice and moved down to my feet, and the earth.” In this project she uses this process to explore the significance of body, memory and geography. The finished work consists of the copper plates, intaglio prints made using the plates and video documentarian of the artist walking. This project is a way of recording and archiving outside of the inescapable colonialism associated with only being able to speak English.
In Marked 2010-2013, Dion Fletcher produced a series of 13 beaded “stains” by recreating images of menstruation using glass beads. The process of learning how to bead and producing positive images of menstruation throw and indigenous artistic form reifies a positive image of the female indigenous body. Ultimately her work seeks to promote self-reflection and debate, and open communication among diverse populations.