"Totem Owl, Man" - acrylic on board, 10" x 10"
Mixed media classes are loaded with paper...ephemera, photos, sewing patterns, tissue, magazines, napkins - you name it, if it's paper, it's there. Oftentimes, classmates get a sense of your style and the types of paper you might covet for you art, and they pass you these little goodies before or after class. One of the goodies passed to me was a photo of a clay owl sculpture with a little man crouched inside, full of Pacific Northwest Native American flair and mystery. Clearly, my classmates know me well, because this photo has called to me ever since.
Now I love owls, and especiailly tribal or native renditions. So the owl part was a home run. What surprised me was my obsession with the little man. What's he doing hiding under owl wings? Why is he crouching? How did he get an owl to let him in there? I am pretty sure there is a legend or myth behind this piece, but I've been unable to locate it.
I'm going to go with my intuition on this one. To me, the man is protected by the owl, safe inside strong wings and resting against soft feathers. Looking at this owl as a symbol of protection and strength feels right, but seeing this strange little man inside totally makes me smile.
Do you know the origin of this totem? Leave a comment and solve the mystery!
This piece is available. Currently unframed. Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen Walls and her imaJENation