“Look into the heavens my relatives, when our sun is resting and see our ancestors and loved ones with their sparkling smiles”. This piece was created to remember all our relatives that have become stars in the heavens and honor the keeper of all those beautiful smiles above us. The Chief’s lodge is decorated with a red bottom (the People), above are seven stars to signify the relationship between mankind and the heavens. Yellow/ blue medallions with horse hair sit just above the stars to denote enlightenment of the Holy Dog (horse nation); the horse is a means of travel to the heavens for people of horse medicine.
Twelve lodge poles are illustrated to honor the number of eagle feathers in the tail of the Eagle nation, a being that flies closest to all of creation. A parfleche door embellished with four designs represent the four direction and a large blue star symbolizes the “Chief That Sits Above”. A sage bundle above the door, a warrior shield with two feathers and war bonnet placed on the flap poles, represents that prayer should always be above us; have courage and stand for what is good for you and others. The lodge is presented in the daylight when the sun is awake (our relatives’ smiles) so that we can remember that the twinkling of the stars happens whether we see them with our eyes or our hearts.
I approached this piece with more of a realistic/expressionist application making the Lodge the center piece and including symbolism. Technically, I employed both a loose and hard edged to the piece which is reminiscent of my painting series; Buffalo Path, Calling of the Ponies and Blanket. I detailed specific areas to highlight importance and added very subtle strokes to develop implied environmental space.