Creature Comfort

Rose B. Simpson, Kha'p'o Owingeh (Santa Clara Pueblo) / American, born 1983




Overall: 18 × 10 × 8 in. (45.7 × 25.4 × 20.3 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Claire and Richard P. Morse 1953 Fund



Place Made: United States, North America


21st century

Object Name


Research Area

Native American


Not on view


Somewhere between human and non-human, this creature tends to itself, licking to groom or soothe a wound. Its uneven legs are supported by additional ceramic slabs. With an interest in the possibilities of anthropomorphic representations and what can be projected onto them, Rose B. Simpson transmutes this animalistic gesture into something at once more and less recognizable. Creature Comfort invites the viewer to consider what kind of care is required from within and outside of oneself to survive.

From the 2021 exhibition Form & Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics, curated by Jami C. Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art and Morgan E. Freeman, DAMLI Native American Art Fellow


Both stoic and sensitive, this semi-human ceramic form portrays a soul caring for itself. The creature uses its tongue to groom and soothe itself; demonstrating how the body is both a vessel and a vehicle for healing. The anomalous body of the creature deemphasizes conceptions of both gender and species, and instead highlights the tender safekeeping of the self. Simpson uses clay as a curative medium to confront and overcome the damages and pains of the postcolonial world. Creature Comfort stands as a reminder that self-care is an ancestral practice crucial to Indigenous survivance.

From the 2023 exhibition Love as Ceremony: Legacies of Two-Spirit Liberation, A Space for Dialogue 114, curated by Moonoka Begay '23, Conroy Intern

Course History

ANTH 11/NAS 11, Ancient Native Americans, Madeleine McLeester, Fall 2020

PORT 8, Brazilian Portraits, Carlos Cortez Minchillo, Winter 2021

LACS 22.11, Latinx Intergenerational Literature, Marcela di Blasi, Spring 2021

ANTH 3.01, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Sienna Craig, Winter 2022

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 2.01, Introduction to Queer Studies, Eng-Beng Lim, Summer 2023

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 114, Love as Ceremony: Legacies of Two-Spirit Liberation, Moonoka Begay, '23, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 19 August - 14 October 2023.

Form & Relation: Contemporary Native Ceramics, Citrin Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 6, 2021–July 23, 2022.


Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico; sold to present collection, 2021.

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