Echo of the Plains

Sixty million or more! Who can comprehend the enormity of such a number? Perhaps it is best thought of in the abstract, an Echo of the Plains, when bison dominated the immensity of even the Great Plains. From a migration of a living blanket to the edge of extinction . . . can they return? Will we allow it?

The first composition attempt at this piece occurred in an art class I was teaching in the late 1980's. The assignment was to create a free-standing ceramic sculpture that was also fairly thick. Thus, the class had to think of strong support and venting for survival in the kiln. I had toyed with realistic bison in the past but as part of a demonstration I needed to work quickly in front of the class. Out of it came the proto-type of the Echo. There seemed to be a residual power in the composition that could not be ignored. It also embodied strong abstraction, not easily communicated to young minds.

For two or three years the ceramic called from a shelf in my studio; then came the oil clay. I resisted still because of scale, but then no more. Echo of the Plains came out very much like that first teaching tool.

1996         9 ½” x 8" x 5 ½”         Edition Size: 15

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