Sculpture by Joanna Underwood Blackburn
Size: 14” H x 11.5” W x 6” D
Tribal Affiliation: Chickasaw
Spring Waters is a collaboration piece by Chickasaw artists Kristen Dorsey and Joanna Underwood Blackburn. This double-sided sculpture is made of bronze and polished steel with a granite base. It has been cast from the original clay maquette that was made for the monumental sculpture located at the Artesian Hotel & Spa in Sulphur, OK.
From our homelands to our present, water has always been a central part of Chickasaw culture. Light dances on the swirling steel to reference how water flows and froths around rocks in gurgling streams. The fish, made of bronze, swim continuously around the sculpture and are carved in the style of our ancestors’ line art found on shell carvings. The hand painted green patina on the fish represents copper, a precious material for our ancestors.
Our ancestors wore circular gorgets carved from shell and incised with symbols that guided them in their daily life. Made in the style of an ancient shell gorget, this piece honors what is precious to us - Oka (water) and the environment that we must safeguard for future generations.
Pottery by Joanna Underwood Blackburn
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