Tyrrell Tapaha is a 6th generation Diné Weaver and fiber artist from the Four Corners area. He learned his art at the age of 7 from his family’s practices of agropastoral living in and around Goat Springs, AZ. His predominant medium is Diné-style weaving, but his work encompasses the intergenerational pastoral living handed down through his grandfather, great-grandmother, and relatives. He believes that everyone and everything in his life is a muse. Tyrrell weaves with the intent of self-exploration. He holds himself accountable to continue an archaic artform that hasn’t changed in millennia.
"This history is so potent that it not only saturates the culture within my People but also is tailored to each family bloodline. Culture isn’t stagnant, it’s living and breathing. Every generation within my family has had its own experience with what this medium means to them. At times, it was a life-or-death scenario where weaving was the saving grace. In other settings, it’s what puts groceries on the table, buys books for school, pays the rent. We give ourselves to our weaving, and it gives itself to us."
Tyrrell is an apprentice under Master Weaver Roy Kady, and has been a practicing Dine fiber artist since the age of 7. Tyrrell hand processes all his materials from sheep to loom, with the fiber being sourced from his family's flock of Navajo Churro. Along with processing yarn and fiber for weaving, Tapaha primarily uses natural/local flora as vegetal dyes for his yarn. Tyrrell uses his medium as a way of expressing his interpretation of reality. His work has been featured at the Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ), the Museum of Contemporary Arts Flagstaff (Flagstaff, AZ), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), and Fowler Museum (Los Angeles, CA). He was a featured artist in the 2020 film Weaving the Future by Shaun Price.
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