Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Elephant Parade

For Immediate Release

Elephant Parade: Art by Donna Dodson on exhibit at New Hampton School’s Galletly Gallery

New Hampton, NH, March 13, 2010 – New Hampton School’s Galletly Gallery is pleased to host sculpture by Donna Dodson from April 1 through May 1, 2010. The public is cordially invited to an opening reception on Friday, April 2, from 5:30 to 7 pm. The reception will feature the “Elephant Princess” jewelry collection by Knight&Hammer Jewelers, inspired by Dodson’s work.

Elephant Parade is a gathering of 15 elegant wood sculptures of the female form with elephant heads. They range in size from 1 to 4 feet tall. Dodson uses the flow of the natural wood grain with the form of the sculpture to reveal and enhance the girl, woman, queen or goddess within. Their mouths are closed, symbolizing the mysteries they embody. Created as archetypes, these figures evoke a personal experience for the viewer. “My artwork celebrates the mystical relationship between human beings and the animal kingdom," says Dodson. "The challenge is to fuse feminine sensuality, sexuality and soul with a well-proportioned figurative vocabulary."

In November of 2009, Dodson exhibited a similar series of work, Elephant Tribe at the Boston Sculptors Gallery in Boston’s SoWa arts district. Says Dodson: "Both installations play upon themes of family identity and individualism, group dynamics, rank and order, kinship and clan, totem, mascot, personal spirituality, feminism and wild animals.”

The Elephant Princess jewelry collection is designed by Joseph Knight of Knight&Hammer Jewelers. For Knight, Dodson’s work "merged ancient cultural ideology with modern linear lines." Sharing a commitment for a better world, Dodson and Knight partnered with Dr. Stuart Pimm, founder of Saving Species. The “Elephant Princess” series, in necklace and earrings, is a limited edition series whose sale benefits "Saving Species." All jewelry is created by American craftsmen in fine sterling silver.

For more information, visit www. KnightandHammer.com and SavingSpecies.com. The Elephant Princess jewelry will only be on display at the reception, Friday, April 2.

Poetry written by Charlanne Kallay will accompany the elephants on parade. There will be a poetry reading and gallery talk on Friday April 2nd during the reception.

The Galletly Gallery is located on the second floor of New Hampton School’s Moore Center. The gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to noon. For directions and more information, please call 603-677-3513 or visit www.newhampton.org.

Update: The NY blogger, Joanne Mattera featured me as one of 3 sculptors to watch. I'm in good company with Nancy Azara and Ursula Von Rydingsvaard this month.

Prom Queen, 31" tall, poplar wood & paint, 2009
Photo credit: Clements Howcroft Photography


Art Trip said...

I know your work is not intended this way, but having fun seeing them as variations of Ganesha.

Donna Dodson said...

Thank you. Perhaps not in a literal sense, but in spirit, they are inspired by Ganesh.

Anonymous said...

I just had to also leave a comment. I felt that this carving is an animal spirit trapped in the wood. The Amazonian tribes believe that as we go through life that we have a spirit guide who shows us the future. This usually happens under the effects of a consumed narcotic beverage. The spirit guide is usually an animal, jaguar, snake, bird, ect. Because all your art revolves around the elephant or other animals, I tend to think that you are an old soul with an Elephant spirit guide. The wood carvings are quite beautiful and there is always a market forcarved Art . Carving tiny breasts on your pieces reminds me of the ancient Egyptian gods. They placed an animal head on a human body for most of their deities. I think childbirth was ruled by a god with a hippopotamus head and a feminine body. This is a really clever art style. The sensuous elephant trunk becomes an object de art.

Donna Dodson said...

Thank you. Egyptian art is a huge inspiration for my artwork. I like the idea of an Elephant spirit guide. Maybe it's why I am so headstrong. The sensuality of the wood is one of the biggest pleasures of sculpting this medium.