Imagine standing on the grassy flat plains of South Dakota. Rising up from nowhere is a large round mountain. This is Bear Butte, a State Park and sacred prayer ground for the Native Americans in that area.
I was so impressed with the way the park was maintained to allow everyone access yet provide Native Americans with their privacy I was inspired to make this piece.
As you climb the mountain, you see banners of fabric waving from trees, stones carefully set in tree branches and fabric on the ground held down by carefully placed stones. All these are part of the prayer ceremonies performed here. The full blue sky above, the grassy plains all around, and the ever present wind speaking through the trees combine to create the feeling that you are in another world.
I've tried to capture the free spirit of the Butte and the relationship of spiritual to government by using the abstract flag fabric. The blowing banners are represented by the strips of different types of fabric extending beyond the confines of the piece, just as prayers extend beyond the confines of our world.
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Last revised: 9/5/1998
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