There are no names here for they are all our family, our history, our present, and the
next generation. The figures walk across a cedar tree base that has the shape of a dragon’s head, it was ripped open lengthwise from a wind storm, exposing the rough center revealing the lines that show its life and history. Growing up, my mother would use cedar to purify our home, release spirits, and chase away bad dreams. That smell for me is home. I de-barked the exterior but kept the curve of the tree and its raw surface. You see the figures walking through time—their life above and the tree’s life below, and the life that lived within the tree are all interwoven. The connected flow of life can be over looked from the hurry of our daily lives. It is often in loss that we are ripping apart to see ourselves, and the profound interconnection we all have surfaces telling of the Dragon we all walk across that we fight or that we care for within.
The Cigar Figures come from a childhood Native American story that my mother told of the “Stick People.” The “Stick People” would run through the night and call your name; if you went with them, you were never heard from again. She never described the figures and I was always drawn to the idea of what they looked like. The Cigar Figures are my reimagining of that story, now a story of family and my past—a complicated narrative of loss, survival, and resilience. The faces are of the people from my memory a collection of details on one side like that of a photograph and the other of a silhouetted family portrait just the shape of the face the shadow of the person in history and in my memory.
THE INTERWOVEN DRAGON
Bronze, Patina, Cedar, and Steel
60” x 24” x 68”
Available Wally Workman Gallery
- Native American Contemporary, Spiva Center for the Arts, Joplin MO (January 5-March 3, 2018)