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Artist and activist Jimmie Durham (b. 1940) has worked as a visual artist, performer, essayist, and poet. He often combines found objects and natural materials in his work. A political organizer for the American Indian Movement during the 1970s, he was an active participant in the downtown New York City artistic community in the 1980s.

Durham participated in IMMA’s Artists’ Residency Programme in 1993 and his A map of the sky, including Betelguese and a Pecan was created during that period.

How to create your own night sky

1. Simply begin by colouring in a white piece of paper using wax crayons.

2. Once you have covered the paper in crayon paint over it using black acrylic paint or poster paint.

3. Allow the paint to dry and then using a wooden tool or even the end of your paint brush scrape the patterns you want to create into the black paint revealing the colour underneath.

4. Like Jimmie Durham’s painting you might decide to include found objects and stick them onto the paper to create your night sky.

Finally please share your results, your experiments, and artworks with the hashtag #ExploreratHome

About the Artist

Jimmie Durham b.1940

Cherokee artist Jimmie Durham is a sculptor, writer and poet. Durham studied at L'École des Beaux-Arts, Geneva. He returned to the US in 1973 to become a full-time organizer in the American Indian Movement (AIM). During this time he also served as director of the International Indian Treaty Council and representative to the United Nations. For Durham, art and its institutions are inseparable from political life. The use of found objects in his work alludes to the classical Western philosophical divisions between mind and body. Durham participated in Artists’ Residency Programme at IMMA in 1993.
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