York, Star Liana
Star Liana York - The Looking Glass
- Medium: Bronze
- Edition: 35
- Size: 23'' x 19'' x 19''
My intention in this sculpture was to capture an interesting and rich moment of intersection between the traditional American Indian and the modern European culture, circa mid-19th century. One that works in highly personal and individual terms, and one that also has a larger resonance.On the literal level I have sculpted a young Mojave woman who is pausing in the act of painting her face prior to a ceremony to contemplate her reflection in a mirror obtained from a white trader. Though her thoughts are private, the possibilities are endless. Looking at herself she could be recognizing her mother's face. Or she could be trying to consider her appearance as others see it to better understand why people react the way they do. Perhaps, applying face paint, she has even seen "cosmetic" possibilities. Whatever, it is through the white man's looking glass that she has entered a state of self-awareness that is new and intriguing to herOn the larger level, contact with Europeans forced a cultural self-awareness among the Indian people inhabiting this continent that had not existed previously. The name many tribes gave themselves translated as "the People". The word for "others" often translated as "the Enemy". One result of that contact was to raise questions about the meaning of identity - questions that continue to haunt Native Peoples to this day.