“Journey” (Medium size, 28″H)
Each year during Memorial Day weekend, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture hosts a show called the Native Treasures Show in Santa Fe NM. A concept title is chosen each year for their show and artists are encouraged to create a piece that is inspired by the title; in 2014 “Journey” was chosen. I thought it was a beautiful concept.
When I thought of the word “Journey” I asked a question within myself, “where in nature can I draw an analogy of a journey?“ And then the idea of the life of a caterpillar to a butterfly came to me. I thought it doesn’t matter what the life form is, there will be challenges in its experience.
The upward moving shape and form of the sculpture is a symbol for the circular and cyclical nature of life. I placed designs with different textures that represent the challenges as life begins, immediately, the caterpillar encounters a steep upward climb. The design has a sharp edge followed by a thorny terrain which represent the trials and challenges of life. As the caterpillar moves through these experiences it also encounters the soft moments in life represented by clouds. There is also a design that represents the experience of the natural elements of lightening, rain and wind. Then there is the plant design, a symbol for nature’s natural yearning to experience growth. At the top of the plant I placed three leaves. These leaves remind me that life is being created at three levels: the conscious, the sub-conscious and the super-conscious. This reminder helps me to be present in the moment and to take responsibility for the kind of energy I share.
At the base of the bronze the patina is meant to look like flowing water. This represents the waters’ life giving properties as well as the flow of life energy. The color then transitions into a light green, this reminds me that things in nature that are lush and full of life are flexible and when necessary they give way to harsh conditions.
Then the patina blends into a golden glow with just a suggestion of magenta color on top of the gold to add a feeling of femininity. We placed this color right underneath the cocoon, so it looks as though when the Butterfly emerged from its cocoon its essence was dusted onto the energy movement. The upward swirl movement of the sculpture comes together with the golden patina color representing new levels of awareness to create a pinnacle moment of metamorphosis and transformation.
But in order for metamorphosis to take place for the caterpillar, the work of transformation had to be done inside the cocoon. There is an altar step design placed on the opening of the cocoon and the inside is polished golden to symbolize the magic that happens on the inside.
This inspired thoughts about my own changes: an ever changing perspective that loves, sharing all the small blessings that each day holds for me. Althea and I will continue to quiet ourselves and have moments of stillness so that we engage life energy to do our own daily internal work so that we can be kindred with the Spirit of the Butterfly, able to fly and float on the soft gentle breezes of life.