I attended my first Boston Media Makers meeting in January 2009 and met alot of really cool people who are into making media with everything from twitters to blogs, podcasts to video logs, photos to films, social media to online networks, web 2.0 to wiki. The group was hosted by Steve Garfield who is also the founder of the group and the online community of Media Makers. After the meeting, C.C. Chapman asked me if I took commmissions and I said yes. He wanted me to interpret the tattoo of a shaman he has on his arm as one of my sculptures. Here's an image of his tattoo that was inspired by the work of the artist Bill Worrell .
I chose a piece of wenge for the shaman I was commissioned to create for C.C. Chapman. This is the second male figure I have created in my series of animal headed-human bodied mythological figures and I enjoyed the challenge to interpret the ancient symbol of the shaman. We discussed the Native American interpretation as a deer headed figure, which made sense since white tailed deer are native to North America and New England. Since it is wintertime, I chose to carve the head without the antlers since deer shed their antlers at this time of year and re-grow them in the springtime. With this in mind, I created the shaman to embody regeneration and renewal.
Instead of the spiral of eternity, I chose to let the wood grain speak for itself since wood has its own language. Instead of the ritual cloth around the neck, I chose a long robe for the deer such as the kind a priest or a prophet might wear. This might be seen as a holy symbol or as a spiritual guide since a shaman is concerned with the spirit world.
I chose to articulate the eyes since the shaman is a ‘seer’ and to exaggerate the ears since finding one’s way or true path in life involves ‘listening’ to hear your own voice, and to hear the truth that others are speaking. The piece was delivered to C.C. Chapman at the February 2009 meeting of the Boston Media Makers and Steve Garfield took some videos of the unveiling and posted them on Qik and Youtube.
Images: Shaman, 11" tall, wenge, 2009 by Donna Dodson
Tattoo image courtesy of C.C. Chapman's photostream on Flickr
Bill Worrell is represented by Karin Newby Gallery in Arizona