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Christian Bigwater is Diné (Navajo), and of the Kinlicheeni Clan (Red House-Zia) and born for the Totsonii Clan (Big Water). He hails from Canyon De Chelly, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation.
“I see other [art] pieces outside of the Native American culture, and I see their differences and influences,” said Bigwater before expressing his desire to “expand” with his artwork and craft toward experimental mainstream realms—Japanese mokume gane-inspired jewelry design, in particular.
His family’s Canyon De Chelly ranch impressed upon Bigwater the scenes of horses, the rich, red landscapes of the red canyon walls, the curves in the cedar tree form, and the clear, blue sky of the Navajo Nation. These elements of Navajo day-to-day life are the essentials in Bigwater’s art.
The impetus for Bigwater to do art started at an early age, but it was not until one day in October 2007 that he finished a painting of the Navajo Spider Rock monument, and he has kept at the canvas since.
Beyond the brush and stroke, Bigwater has a hand in jewelry via silversmithing and beadwork—wanting, now, to work with gold, copper, nickel, crystals and diamonds with the jewelry.
Some of Bigwater’s art has been shown at the Navajo Nation Museum, the Gallup Indian Ceremonial, and featured at the Gallup Arts Crawl in late 2012. Bigwater holds a B.S. in Marketing Administration (with a certificate in Marketing Communications) from Northern Arizona University. He currently resides in Gallup, New Mexico and continues to work for the Navajo Nation—in various capacities over the years.