Wicanhpi Iyotan Win Autumn Cavender is an artist, midwife, and activist currently residing in her home territories. She began her journey as an artist through a porcupine quillworking apprenticeship with master quillworkers in 2016. She began her digital art practice through an interest in developing original designs in quillwork and beadwork, and in its appeal to younger generations. Fiercely dedicated to decolonization, land rights, and birth justice, Cavender spends much of her time engaged in community work. She firmly believes in the power of community art and the legacy of craft to heal trauma and spur critical dialogue about Indigenous reality. Currently, she is launching her practice into the digital sphere, and explores the ways in which ancestral practice, generative tech, and the vibrations of sound intersect.
Cavender’s work as a digital artist includes creating Dakota floral designs and templates for personal beadwork, community projects, and public art. Additionally, she uses digital art techniques in her practice of “generative quillwork”. In developing designs and patterns using songs and sounds to explore the design applications of contemporary mediums, she aligns Dakota artistic praxis, rather than trying to fit “Indian” designs into contemporary mediums. This innovative practice is based in Dakota quillwork methodologies and informed by her personal understanding of Dakota techniques of encoding teachings of theology, cosmology, place, and genealogy.