“Temple Mound Space Travelers 2” was inspired by Town Creek Indian Mound, a Mississippian site in Mt. Gilead, North Carolina. A giant sundial of sorts, Town Creek was composed of a single large platform mound with a surrounding village and palisade. It was primarily an astronomical and ceremonial site. “Temple Mound Space Travelers 2” shows temple mounds and temple keepers, mathematicians who knew how to track the cycles of stars, sun, moon and planets that determined the sacred calendar and traditional ceremonial cycle.
As was often the case during mound building times in the southeast, Town Creek is purposefully situated by a river and on ground that contains large amounts of magnetite (iron). In “Temple Mound-Space Travelers 2” you see winding rivers and a rusty red-orange color palette to denote magnetite in the earth.
“Temple Mound Space Travelers 2” is part of the “Ancestral Spaceship” series (2004 – 2017) of assemblage sculptures. These cut-out forms expand on previous subject matter by developing imagery relating to the creation stories and ceremonial/seasonal cycles of my Indigenous ancestors. Each construction represents a different traditional totem-like icon that is common to Indigenous creation stories and ceremonial practices across North, Central and South America. An eight-pointed star, symbol for a new beginning, loosely forms the underlying composition of each piece.
These hanging sculptures are constructed from found wood. They are a 3-D twist on my 2-D composite work.The various surfaces display collage layers in relief, incorporating an array of original hand rendered art and reproduced media, including digital formats. These pieces have an altar-like quality, free form ‘spaceships’ if you will.
The red and white painted backs of the Ancestral Spaceships are significant. Historically, in the southeast, the fundamental color duo of red and white was used to express dualities of many kinds, i.e. good-bad, pure-impure, order-disorder, chaos-harmony, war-peace and so on.
Original Medium: Mixed media assemblage using found wood, acrylic, oil pastel, pencil, photos and cutouts of recycled digitally edited passages.
Dimensions: 22” x 22”