Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara) b. 1963
"The Emergence of the
Mixed media clay, A: 22" x 13" x 15"
B: 16" x 23" x 18"
C: 17" x 14" x 14" D: 7" x 19" x 1 1 "
The Heard Museum, Phoenix,
Purchased with funds from the Koll Company
Swentzell is a young artist whose artistic wisdom is far beyond her years. She
brings to Native American sculpture an integrity of technique and understanding
of her materials. Swentzell is the niece of Nora NaranjoMorse and is also well
grounded in the realm of Santa Clara pottery produced by her grandmother, her
mother and her aunts.
She has developed a style of figurative sculpture that is derived
from the figurative effigy forms of her Pueblo ancestors. These ancient forms
are abstract and are not meant to be realistic. Swentzell's figures are very
realistic. Her knowledge of the human form, more specifically the Pueblo body
is evident. Her technique is true to the ancient coil and scrape method of pot
building. She takes that method to another level with the use of sculpture's
tools to define her human forms.
"The Emergence of the Clowns" represents the ascendence of the Pueblo
people into this world. The Koshares or Scared Clowns are remembering the
migration of the First People. Swentzell's ability to capture human emotion is
most evident in this sculpture. She has captured the feelings of wonderment,
awe, knowledge and joy in the four figures. Her use of the partial human forms
which gradually bring forth the complete body with the final figure represents
and further accentuates their journey upward.
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