Tiny Totem #2 – Reverse Ravens
This is the second in my ongoing “Tiny Totem” series. These pieces are small, reductive versions of my larger “Totem” series, intended to explore similar concepts distilled into the barest essentials. Modern reinterpretations of the Native American Totem Poles of the Pacific Northwest, these pieces offer impossible arrangements of common animals and birds. Isolated from their natural environments and portrayed in a whimsical, tension-filled, and surreal context, the viewer is challenged to reconsider the subjects in a new light. Native Americans traditionally used animals as potent symbols for their own human talents, frailties, fears, and desires, and despite the distance we have placed between ourselves and the natural world today, animals still play just as significant a role in our daily lives, from logos to add campaigns. These pieces ask the viewer to explore what wildlife means in today’s world, to consider the fragile balance we strike in our own lives between man and beast, and to ponder the plight of a natural world teetering on collapse.
Ravens are particularly potent symbols, not just in Native American folklore, but throughout numerous cultures, often acting as messengers, omens, and diviners of fortune both good and bad. White ravens, however, are of particular spiritual significance, representing spiritual cleansing.