Jill Shwaiko

Jill Shwaiko

STATEMENT This group of sculptures comes from my study of ancient civilizations and their artwork. I was fortunate to go and visit a number of the Anasazi ruins in the Southwest. There, I studied the rock art of the area and found the big horn sheep petroglyphs to have a language of their own.

I began developing these images into bronzes and oil pastels. During this process, I felt them speaking to me; sometimes in quite an endearing way. I tip their heads upward for pride and lower them for perseverance. The horns that go backwards represent swiftness, while the legs reflect a gracefulness. They have personalities much like we do, representing both our grandeur and frailty and humor. The delight and joy I work to express in these sculptures helps to remind us that we too can recognize and enjoy these traits found within ourselves, our mates, our family and friends. I believe we are all grand in our own ways.

One of the best understandings that the historians have of why the native peoples spent hours pecking a drawing of a sheep into rock is that they were calling the soul of the sheep to them. There are rock drawings of human figures, animals and objects in the natural world such as suns, mountains etc. Rock drawings/petroglyphs are found all around the world; reflecting mankind's history and connection to both the physical and spiritual world.

FORMAL STUDIES University of Wisconsin - BFA University of Iowa - MFA

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