Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ghost Dance

Black-footed Ferret
Mustela nigripes
only ferret species endemic to North America
mixed media painted leather , hand sewn and beaded

Since April is National Poetry Month, I decided to share with you my words that are a part of an artist statement written in 2007. This statement accompanied the Endangered and Extinct Intercessors created in 2006 and 2007.

( statement written in 2007)

Riding the Sixth Great Wave One Stitch at a Time

What an armchair journey this has been over the past two years. Extensive and intensive researching of endangered and extinct beings that have called Mother Earth home. It all began for me with the Pink-headed Duck. Well over two years ago I became distressed by the wholesale slaughtering of chickens and then ducks. Listening to a story about duck herders of Thailand on a National Public Radio news program, I was fascinated by this image. I googled duck herders of Thailand and was able to read other stories with images of ducks. I could not pinpoint the species though. Concurrently, I was pondering the direction that this particular body of work would head. I knew that I wanted to continue creating jointed leather bodied Intercessor figures and their ongoing story of aiding humans.

The world's chickens, ducks, and migratory birds needed a leader to shepherd them to safety from the evil misguided human species. Whilst thumbing a book about extinct and vanishing birds of the world, I spied the words Pink-headed Duck. Oh! What a name and, I am very fond of the color pink. I turned pages to the chapter on this mysterious creature thought to be extinct. Here was a being that could lead bird populations of the world to safety.

Evolution of a theme. Creatures that had suffered at the hands of humans. Endangered. Extinct. Red listed. Each one specifically picked to come teach misguided human species a lesson. And, I would not depict the usual suspects. Species with specific messages from around Mother Earth. An image that haunts me is one of how cattle will circle round a cow giving birth, facing outward to protect. These same cattle will encircle a dead cow, facing inward, mourning. Translate that image to a bestiary of Intercessors facing inward, encircling Mother Earth ( depicted by a globe). Powerful message for misguided humans.

Each creature would have a red cross patch on its chest to signify that it is a pilgrim on a journey to teach lessons and cause humans to pause and contemplate.

Goal: Put on someone else's "shoes" for awhile. To gain empathy, tolerance, understanding.

Lean away so that others may breathe.

A sanctuary
of EN y EX beings
a dance
a ghost dance
or maybe
a dance of
things as they are
but dance
they must
a dance
beyond us
a dance
around Mother Earth
twirling inward
twirling outward
to dance
in a circle.


Julie said...

I like the looks of this little guy - he looks saucy! Enjoyed seeing you this past weekend - it was fun to catch up a little. I added your blog to my blogroll - I enjoy seeing what you are working on!
Have a good week! Hi to Rhett!

kerin rose said...

I love being able to read this statement and see/understand more about the origins of this sculptural series of yours, Kelly....

I deeply respect the way you use your art not only for expressive purposes but also as a force of nature....