"We are all one child spinning through Mother Sky."

Shawnee Saying

Preliminary Working Sketches for the Osage Orange Tree

The sketch is used only as a rough guide for the sculptor. Ultimately, the nature of the tree decides the placement and flow of the figures. Harry's job is to get to know the characteristics of the tree and coax the sculpture from it's very dense wood. Over the years, Harry has discovered that if he "sneaks up" on the tree, both sculptor and the tree work together in harmony. As always, Harry will add more figures to the sculpture than shown in his original sketch. The tree will speak to him and the result will be perhaps a jaguar, grape leaves, and other surprises.

Artist Interpretations

Symbolic Elements of the Proposed Sculpture for Bayview Community Center August, 2001

At the heart of the tree rises one of the ancient ones, a Ho Chunk woman with arms stretched to the sky. She carries a basket representative of the female role as a provider of food and sustenance. She is our universal mother, Mother Earth. Around her, whirl animals native to various continents, symbols to the diverse cultures that have passed through the Bayview area. Some of the sculpture’s animals cross cultural lines. To many of the societies symbolized in the sculpture, the belief that everything in nature has a spirit is a common element. Symbols are a common tendency of all human beings to classify the social world in natural terms. The world of nature is expressed in the expression of the animal.

African Elephant
Symbol of the
African continent.



Asian Elephant: Symbol to Southeast Asia's Hmong people





Bear:

Important symbol for many
Native American tribes including
Harry's tribe, the Ho Chunk Nation.
Harry was born into the Bear Clan.


Oxen:

Used for religious purposes in Hmong life, also an American symbol of strength and endurance. In Christianity, The ox is a symbol of strength, of patience and of sacrifice, ready either for the plough or for the altar. Also significant to some African nomadic tribes.





Rabbit:

A trickster in the Ho Chunk view; fertility symbol Europeans; Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, courage, and strength to Asian cultures.





Fish:

The universal symbol of the sea and water, symbolizes the Italian people who lived never far from the sea and continued to fish in the new world in Madison’s lakes.




Eagle:

A highly regarded animal to all indigenous peoples of the Americas. In the Native American view, the Thunderbird takes prayers directly to the Creator. In the American view, the eagle represents freedom and liberty.




Spider:

Has meaning to Native Americans.




Drum:

Every culture on earth has a drum, inspired by "Call for Peace" Drum and Dance group.

 

Child:

Symbolic of the new generation born in America, hope for the future.