LAST IN THE EDITION.
For a long time Star has been intrigued by Indian rock art - images pecked or painted on cliff and cave walls by Native Americans. For her they not only represent a unique cultural and artistic heritage, they signify "the first time in man's development that he applied a forward-looking imagination, and attempted to speak beyond the present, to the future." It was while hiking among the desert plateaus of western New Mexico with a former minister on the Laguna Pueblo who wanted to show her one of his "power spots" that Star first encountered the image that inspired "Ancient Echo". After trudging for several hours along desert sheep trails and scaling a steep talus slope, she found herself standing in an enormous amphitheater adorned with a variety of petroglyphs and pictographs. Dominating all the images was the immense drawing of what appeared to be a deer-in-velvet. Star was familiar with the crude stick-figures common to most Indian pictography, and was struck by the sophistication of the design, which was impressively rendered with style and subtlety. Because these "pictures of antiquity" cannot be exhibited in museums or galleries except in reproduction, and because Star felt that by adding select interpretive touches and giving the image a physical reality she could give this mysterious creature a new incarnation, extending its power and presence. It became the model for her next sculpture. Like the artist before her, she did not strive for an ideal likeness of her subject. The exchange of weight in the legs has been emphasized to accent body movement, the mouth has been opened wider to make it seem as if the beast were bellowing, and the eyes are hollowed to appear skull-like, giving the entire head a primal set, a ghostliness. As well, the rough surface texture of the cave wall is retained in the animal's coat which, juxtaposed to the simple lines and economical shape of the overall composition, present elements that often define contemporary art. While capturing the animal's spirit, Star has given the sculpture a timelessness, making it a very ancient piece or very modern one, depending on which way you look at it. It is also a sculpture which Star is reproducing in a larger scale, as a literal monument to "those silent images that visually speak to us from the past."