York, Star Liana
Star Liana York - Magic of the Hunt
- Medium: Bronze
- Edition: 20
- Size: 31'' x 31'' x 18''
Monumental edition of 7 available for $34,000. Monumental measures 90 by 78 by 54 inches. In rock graphics depicted by Stone Age Man we find a legacy, which belongs to all mankind. Rock graphics are found virtually on every continent. Some experts believe the animal imagery was done as a way of establishing a supernatural connection with the game early man hunted for his survival. Every sculptor working with Western subject matter may feel the desire to sculpt a buffalo at some point in his or her career, because in many ways the buffalo is a symbol of The American West. But precisely because it has been done so many times, Star waited for a fresh way of seeing this popular creature before she did "her" buffalo. It was when she saw a photograph of a prehistoric bison that had been painted on a cave wall during the Ice Age that she felt, at last, she had found the image she wanted to sculpt. It had a sense and feeling of antiquity she liked, and she thought it would make a powerful and original composition. In 1879, at Altimira, in a cave neat the north coast of Spain, a hunter whose dog disappeared down what looked liked a foxhole accidentally discovered a system of caverns. In the ceiling of one of the cave rooms were a series of extraordinary paintings of extinct species of bison. The images were so good artistically that European authorities initially refused to believe they could have been crafted thousands of years earlier. When it came to sculpting this bison Star wanted the piece to have the same primitive force of its inspiration. She wanted to retain the simplicity of the original, but also wanted to take it a step closer the reality of what Paleolithic man must have seen. "I wanted to keep the extended horns, the quivering, upstanding tail, the contracted forelegs which were clearly delineated in the cave painting." And yet she also wanted to capture the great dramatic effect of the beast in motion ... retaining a sense of mass and weight ... launching into motion off a hind leg. Something that also impressed her about the original painting was the gradual shading of pigments which, communicated depth and perspective. Star worked with various patinas to get a similar effect. At the same time she wanted the surface texture of the piece to reflect the roughness of the rock. Those who study Paleolithic art believe that these paintings mark places where religious ceremonies were performed, and the images are related to magic directed to luck in the hunt. The survival of the Ice Age hunters was often dependent on their success in hunting bison. The paintings in these caves were intended to enchant the beasts and bring them, by supernatural means, under the power of man. For this reason Star has entitled the piece: "Magic of the Hunt."