Artists Silvi Alcivar & Taylor Replane 2011 ResidencyThe Four Directions
by Taylor Replane and Silvi Alcivar
materials: bamboo, rip-stop nylon, upcycled fabric, thread
Drawing inspiration from Lakota culture, this sculpture vertically reimagines the medicine wheel, a common sacred symbol used to represent life in balance. Used for prayer and reflection, and typically built on the ground with stones or as a hanging circle, the wheel calls upon the sacred nature of the number 4: there are four principal directions (North, South, East, West), which correspond to four stages of life (birth, adolescence, adulthood, and elderhood), and four races of the earth exemplified by the colors Red, Yellow, White, and Black. Each direction is also associated with a messenger, typically symbolized by a bird.
The four flags, hanging from bamboo masts positioned to make a circle, correspond to the traditional medicine wheel's representation of the four directions, stages of life, colors, and bird messengers. Each flag includes a short poem, meant to be read as a prayer. Though the sculpture is designed to be read beginning with birth in the East and then moving clockwise through the four life stages, the poem can be read as one continuous line beginning from any direction. The words are inspired by what the stages represent in the journey of a person's life. The birds selected to represent the stages borrow from traditional Lakota symbols and species native to Kauai.
Following the stages of life, the poem/prayer reads:
East, Birth (Tropic Bird, white) “The wind is enough”
South, Childhood (Egret, red) “And so you find home”
West, Adolescence (Swallows, Yellow) “And so you go”
North, Elderhood (Crows, Black) “And so you fly”
Silvi Alcivar Website: www.thepoetrystore.net
Bamboo Sculpture at Steelgrass 2011 Residency Photos
The artists selected for the 2011 Residency were Silvi Alcivar, Lauren Bahng, Chris Cunningham, Lucas Gasperik and Taylor Replane. Click on each artists' name to view photos showing the completed works, as well as the artists during the fabrication process.