The Chamisa People are Coming

The likeliest segue that I can summon for this occasion, is to introduce the larger than life fantasy figures that I have been sculpting for the past decade.

Above are a few additional examples from a photograph taken by Carrie McCarthy:

These were prototypes of the fertility princess long before I thought of her indian corn shoes. These characters came about out of a need for using the local brush for something practical. I trim it back from my house every year for fire safety. Then it either must be strapped to a vehicle and carted off to the dump, or useful things must be made of it. I’m giving the definition of “useful” a pretty broad interpretation here, but I elected to fashion companions for myself, straw ones, anyway, standing in for the real ones separated by space and or time.

Many seasons have passed since these native shrubs first transformed into magical allies, at my hand. They eventually became stand-ins for my loved one’s. Pretty much everywhere you look you’re going to see one.

They are incredibly enduring. The first one I made is ten years old and looks as good as day one.

Objects, or things, is what they are, really, nothing more. Don’t confuse these with idols. Nature has a fine way of making everything she gives seem alive, inhabited by her. Unbridled forces of the imagination will want to always make them into living beings. That is what our ancestors did.

So you come across one of these larger than life figures in the landscape and you say, hey, what if this we’re real, like some kind of spirit, god or goddess, ally or totem that watches over this place for us? Surely they must have a magical purpose? What on earth could explain such a piece?

Now, zoom back and recall, that I said my motives with these sculptures are primarily practical. Well, my dog has a lush coat that is prone to snag every kind of, sticker, burr, and head-o-goat whenever they bloom, so I get to look forward to either pick them off my property, or off my dogs coat, every late spring and early summer.

Usually around the start of June, I go out after the first rain and eradicate every horehound plant inside the fence. There were so many a few years ago that I was able to make this sculpture, and it bears an uncannily doggish countenance. The title is “Horehound Hound.” It’s so big I could ride on its back with my feet off the ground!

Horehound Hound




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