bone and lava on steel. photograph of bighorn ram's skull and flowers printed on aluminum

32 cm x 48 cm

return detail - click to enlarge

|object in private collection|

Discovering the remains of this ram was a revelation. Below a rock shelter desert bighorns have used since the beginning of the beginning, this ram’s sun-bleached bones were scattered in a garden of wildflowers. Earlier in the day, I spooked a mature ram and it leaped out in front of me and down a treacherous, boulder strewn hillside. With explosions of breath and a clattering of hooves, his physical power and grace were nothing short of supernatural. Sitting up in the shelter, I looked out across the desert for a very long time and I imagined the arc of the dead ram’s life, and I felt profoundly humbled – and totally connected. I had a realization that resonated not in my head, but deep in my bones: we don’t disappear when we die – we simply return.

This object was included in my solo exhibition chasing julian at the WEE Gallery in Tucson, Arizona, February 2013.


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