New Public Art
This ceramic wall sculpture, "Immersed", recalls the Far North story of a boy who lost his vision by the hand of another. During the years he was blind, he sat by the lake and listened to Red Throated Loon. One day in the spring of the year, Loon called the boy to climb on its back and hold tight around its neck. Loon dove deep, immersing the boy in the waters of the lake. After the first dive and surface, the boy could see only bright light. After the second, his sight was too sharp-- he could see small rocks across the lake. When they surfaced again after the third dive, the boy's vision was restored to normal. Then he saw that the loon who helped him was huge, as big as a qayaq.
There's much more to the story of the blind boy. In true Alaska Native story form, the suffering humans bring on others and themselves when they disrespect the natural world and its resources is illustrated through some scary and horrific actions of its characters. Also though, gratitude, respect, and being in good relationship with the natural world are offered in the story as paths to healing, wholeness, and survival. While sculpting this piece and considering the story, I was inspired to begin a new daily practice. When I wake now, I drink a glass of water and make tea. While I'm drinking, and while the faucet spills water into the pot for boiling, I imagine a course the water follows from earth to the sky, back to earth, through pipes, to the cup, to the pot. I pour tea into a tiny mug and place it on the windowsill, a remembrance and offering to the people who came before me. I pour myself a cup and offer silent thanks and deliberate smiles to the water that nourished my ancestors; to the rain, rivers, sea that nourish my family and community; to the same waters that give life to the tea tree and the organisms supporting the tree; to the rain and rivers that nourish the people who tend the tree, harvest and dry the leaves, package and ship the tea; and to the crew at Wing Ming Herbs, who stock and sell the tea. Sculpting this story in clay helped me find one small way to remember and embody its teachings.
Photo credit to Kevin McConnell Photography
"Immersed" was acquired by the Regional Arts & Culture Council through Support Beam and is part of the permanent community-owned collection.
To the Wallowas, To Parks Bronze!
I finally completed a sculpture that I've been working on for nearly two years-- "Interdependent Survival". The main gesture for this piece was inspired by a story my Great Auntie Emma told me from her childhood in the village of McGrath, Alaska. While they were gathered around visiting, Great Grandma Helen exclaimed with delight that Mrs. Vanderpool was pregnant again. She knew because of the way the woman’s toddler crawled through Mrs. Vanderpool's legs. Conceptually, the piece is about climate change and the imperative for us all to take care and deliberate action for survival of the human and animal people now and to come-- more about that when the piece has been cast.
When my sculpture was finished, I took it to Form 3D in Portland where my cousin Troy scanned it to create a digital "copy" of the sculpture (above). The 3D scanner projects structured blue light onto the sculpture, picking up surface data that is then sent digitally as computer files. Troy uses software to clean and convert the data so that it can be stored and if I decide to reduce or enlarge the piece later, made into a perfect 3D model of the original piece. Thanks to Troy for sharing his resources and technological expertise!
Part of the joy of completing a piece is the next step, delivering it to Parks Bronze Foundry in Enterprise, Oregon a tiny town at the feet of the Wallowa Mountains. The trip east is gorgeous, and the lands of the Nimiipuu people are to me some of the most beautiful and healing in Oregon. Here are a few pics from our trip last week...
I was lucky that my visit coincided with a scheduled bronze pour! It was my second time being present for a pour and I was as thrilled and scared in the hot room, so close to all this molten metal and fire, as I was the first time.
I'm excited about this edition of Sedna. I've gone with a beautiful granite base for this edition-- it mirrors the underside of the piece (not perfectly captured here) and brings an another lyrical quality to the movement of the piece.
This sculpture is available--reach out via phone or email if you have interest!
Art in the Studio!
Ceramic sculptures available from my home studio-- please reach out directly if you have interest.
Above: "Summer Ptarmigan", ceramic, feathers, pigment 15"x9"x4.5" (with feathers)
Below: "Owl Person Bowl", ceramic and pigment 9"x5"x2". The bowl is inspired by functional wooden Yup’ik bowls and represents a confluence of the physical and metaphysical worlds.
Below: "Angalkuq (Shaman) Sees: Travelling by Moonlight", ceramic, pigment 8.5"x5.5"x2.5"
I'm so pleased that, after pandemic-related delays, my work can now be found at the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver BC.
I am currently accepting commissions. Please reach out by email to discuss a custom sculpture, firstname.lastname@example.org