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The Gnarly Root in Hesperus, Part three: Escaping the Cacaphony of Society

PLEASE NOTE: This blog was originally written in October when my computer crashed, and I just discovered it (1/7/2020) as I was posting a few new pieces on the website. I will go ahead and publish this, but again, the Gnarly Root Project came to an end when I returned home. Too many pressing personal matters... At any rate, here it is, late, seeming to follow my perspective of time, but please check out my blog also for what I currently have available. Thanks! GQ


Escapism is actually a lifestyle definition, and it works when one is seeking solitude to focus on a particular project. Living in isolation, away from clocks, with a reduction of digital exposure and having only the friendship of a dog simplifies things to the most basic way of life. Maybe that’s why the Gnarly Root is speaking to me again, or am I just getting cabin fever… ha, ha! Either way, I find it entertaining, for every thought suddenly becomes a Facebook meme and I find myself thinking, “Should I publish this?”, or “That was a great idea? I need to share it!”, and even things like, “Wow, did I just think that?” Grand disillusionment, but somewhere deep within, clarity,

The front of the Gnarly Root when I arrived. My intent is to bring the back side up to this phase of carving, the roughing out process.

The Gnarly Root seems to have a life of its own when it comes to the creative design. As I mentioned before, the School for Advanced Research (SAR) turned out to be its birthplace where the imagery blossomed from within. The focus there was on the Maternal side with representations of female Katsinam, and matriarchs from the physical world.

Now, here in Hesperus, the male energy is coming forth. I had an idea of what I what I wanted to do. But then again, it changed on me as I started working on the piece. More details emerged, items I had on it moved, or were reinterpreted. With each change, new ideas came about. All of it, bringing in more elements on the “Way of Life” of a romanticized world of the Hopi as I see it.

There was one other revelation that occurred - once the design process is complete, I will go into the clean-up stage of carving and the Gnarly Root will be ready to relax. Like sitting in front of the mirror in meditative thought, staring, reflecting on its appearance, the root will be ready to apply its make-up. It’s time to collect one’s self, so I will take it home and continue on without having to travel anymore. Again, clarity comes to mind.

I’m in a good space and loving it. A friend recently asked, “Is this your Magnum Opus?” Maybe it is, maybe not. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, with the thought of keeping it simple, enjoy the photos of what progress I’ve accomplished so far. GQ

The area below and around the sunface is what I focused on tne most at the start of my stay. it was a blank canvas, so to speak up to the round Sunface. This is the backside of the root, and I wanted it to depict the paternal responsibilities to the culture.

This is the weaver. There are many types of weaving done in the Hopi world. There are several types of sashes, kilts, and robes that the men weave for different purposes.

Above the weaver I placed two men, working out of the same wagon, but each performing a different duty. Both, relating to heating fuel gathering for the winter months.


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