Monday, July 23, 2012


Modern Eden gallery in San Francisco is currently showing "Myth," a group show in conjunction with a solo show of artist Chelsea Brown's work. I made a piece for the show entitled "Moonrise and Swallow Song," based on a myth I conglomerated from various Native American traditions. 

In the first days, the nights were as dark as the days were bright. Coyote had created the sun, Otter the clouds, and Raven the stars, but no one had yet thought to create the moon. 
In this time, there was a great hunter who loved nothing more than to stalk the animals of the forest. He would spend all day tracking deer or elk, carrying his bow and arrow, moving silently through the woods. He learned the ways of all the animals that moved in the daylight, and soon hunting them was no longer challenge enough. He began to dream of hunting the animals that roamed in the night, but lamented that it was too dark to hunt by starlight alone.
In this time there was also a Chief’s Daughter who was as beautiful as the rivers and sky. Her limbs were long and svelte, her hair was dark as Raven’s wing, and her skin glowed like twilight. She had fallen in love with the hunter, often trying to gain his affection, helping skin his kills or to tan the hides he brought back- but his mind was full of hunting, and he never noticed her kind and helpful ways or her luminous beauty.
Over time, the Chief’s Daughter began to despair. Nothing she did could get the hunter to notice her. She carried the question in her heart all through the day and all through the night- how could she get him to notice her great love? 
One day, she overheard him say how more than any other thing he wished that there was a way to make a light that would shine in the night sky so that he could hunt the animals of the dark. The chief’s daughter knew that this was her chance to get his attention at last.
The next day, she made the long journey to the land of the Sky People, seeking their chief. She begged him to make a second sun for the night, but this was too great of a thing for her to ask. The Sky Chief refused, and she begged again, bargaining with everything she had, and in her desperation, she offered even her life. Finally, the Sky Chief agreed to create a light akin to the sun, though it would be less bright and only shine part of the time so that the land would remain dark as it had been for a portion of the nights. The price that they agreed upon was the Chief’s Daughter’s life.
The Sky Chief, impressed by the girl’s sacrifice, took pity on her and placed her in the sky as the moon so that she could watch the hunter that she loved. Her beauty and sadness became the cold light of the moon. 
When the hunter learned of what happened, and when he beheld the beauty of the Chief’s Daughter shining down as moonlight, he finally realized what he had been blind to. Now he was the one to despair. He climbed the highest cliff he could find to try and get high enough to reach her, but in his haste he was clumsy, and slipped off the edge. As he fell, he passed through a ray of moonlight and was transformed into the Cliff Sparrow, who to this day dives recklessly from the cliff faces into the great expanse of sky. 

in progress...

"Moonrise and Swallow Song" © 2012 Marisa Ware 

Here it is in the custom built frame I made- glass, wood, and leather. 

...and for your viewing pleasure, here are a few of my favorite pieces from other artists that were also a part of the show.
"Yuki-Onna" © 2012 Melissa Morgan 
"The Language of the Birds" © 2012 Cory Benhatzel 
"Pine Leaf / Woman Chief / Two Spirit" © 2012 Chelsea Brown
"Horned Creeper" © 2012 Chelsea Brown

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