I have entered this sculpture into Art Prize, which is like the Olympics of public art, held annually in Grand Rapids Michigan. There are about a half million dollars worth of awards that are split up by 10 or so artists and these are voted by everyday Grand Rapidians and the 8 million visitors(!) that ascend upon the town. Another twist to this is that the artists and venues create profiles on the websites. The venues browse the artists and contact one to work with. Very different exhibit. I have the chance to win a prize, sell the piece, get exposure to a huge crowd, yet I have to drive to Michigan. Twice. Sort of a gamble.
I'll be posting pieces now from my thesis exhibition with their descriptions. This will help me get into the habit of writing on this blog and its a good way for you to see what has been on mind this past year or so.
7H x 3W x 2D Powder-coated aluminum and steel.
This sculpture depicts a yogini, or female asana practitioner, in a posture called Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, which means “revolved side-angle pose”. Looking upward with her in this yoga posture is her pet dog. They are connected by a branching fire emanating between their eyes.
The yogini is lunging deep with her right leg, while twisting and pressing her palms into each other to aid in the twist. The hands are both in a praying hand gesture and an athletic hold. The difference between calling this a mudra (symbolic hand gesture) and merely calling it an athletic hold is a small part of a central issue within contemporary yoga. The argument is whether yoga is an exercise or religious practice and then also, whether yoga should be practiced with dogs (or pets). This sculpture enlivens this debate by showing what a yoga practitioner could look like in a moment of meditation, enlightenment, or euphoria through exercise with a dog.
The pastel-fluorescent green of the dog and person are an optical aura. As a more challenging yoga posture, it seems appropriate for there to be a rougher texture, because this pose will make a practitioner shake if held for a long period of time. The connecting emanation turns from the cool green into a red flame with neon pink highlights. The cloud pedestal alludes to the incredibleness of this situation.