poetic lyricism of the west: you are horse


Photo: Nevada Museum of Art

Photo: Nevada Museum of Art

poetic lyricism of the west, you are horse
the sculptural art of Deborah Butterfield

sweeping epic, primal presence
powerful yet vulnerable
masterful mustang

formed of branches, twigs and bark
fragile ambiguity
formed into a story told for the ages

twisting, tying sculptures
reconstructing deconstructed life
now cast in molten bronze, applied patina

retelling stories of vast openness
encroached and threatened
nobility woven from the past
reminders for the future.

Written in response to Abhra’s prompt at dVerse poetics where we are invited to dip into history. I’ve chosen Deborah Butterfield, a sculptural artist from Montana, who uses found articles to fashion the powerful horse, a symbol of the West. Today in Nevada, where I call home, the mustang still roams free, though in lesser numbers. There is much controversy surrounding round-ups by the Bureau of Land Management. When we first moved here in 1993, wild horses came down into neighborhoods to the East of town to graze. We have one of Butterfield’s sculptures here at the Nevada Museum of Art. A few years ago, when I was still a docent, we had an exhibit of her work. The largest gallery was overtaken by a magnificent stampede of equine sculpture. I encourage you to read more about the process this artist uses in this YouTube Video Here

Photo: honolulumuseumofart

Photo: honolulumuseumofart

 

I used a sort of erasure form of poetry, borrowing words from an exquisitely-penned article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer (1998-2003) written by Judy Wagonfeld.

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24 thoughts on “poetic lyricism of the west: you are horse

  1. I love how these visionaries an make 3-dimensional art from just about anything…and how you can weave words into “wonderful.” 🙂

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  2. Gabriella says:

    I meant the ‘simplicity’ of the material. This is what happens when one wants to comment on the iPad rather than on the computer..

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  3. Gabriella says:

    I like the simplification the material behind the art and how the piece of art and the original wood become so closely related just as the real horses are linked to their environment. Thank you for reminding me of erasing poetry. I might use it on Tuesday.

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  4. Shamsud says:

    Beautiful ! I love the way the poem ends. Thanks for sharing
    nobility woven from the past
    reminders for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kanzensakura says:

    What a beautiful sculpture and how beautifully it captures the soul of a horse. Your poem does that as well. The dead wood becomes the bones of the beauty of this creature. Here in Virginia and off the coast of NC, wild pones live and thrive, ancestors of the Spanish and English ships that wrecked. The people died but the ponies survived. You may have read Misty of Chincoteague, years ago. Every year they do a swim of the ponies (now monitored by the Humane society) where some become adopted. It helps them to survive.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glenn Buttkus says:

    We have a sculptor here in the NW who uses junk metal to create incredible sculpture; everything life-size, horses, giraffes, & trains. I know you liked my poem about mustangs & THE MISFITS; I feel such an affinity with mustangs; odd that. Your piece is strong, lovely, a fitting tribute to artist & horse.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. wolfsrosebud says:

    art becomes so beautiful in many way… enjoyed your take on this piece

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Grace says:

    A beautiful homage to the powerful mustang Victoria ~ The artist has done very well in capturing the power, vulnerability and nobility of the creature who roamed in the vast openness ~

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh wow fantastic sculpture. To capture the presence of a horse using branches…so much entwines and your words complete it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. claudia says:

    oh wow – what a wonderful piece of art… love the message as well… reminding us of the things in the past and making us more aware of the future as well in this

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Abhra says:

    Victoria, that is wonderful chapter from history – I like the sculpture very much and how you describe the evolving of it – because horse is one the most difficult subjects…. I have to see the video later though…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful – you’ve found the soul of horse. Some of my best years have been spet around horses.

    An artist who uses found objects is called a recyclologue here – we went to an exhibition of one such a couple of years ago.

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  13. MarinaSofia says:

    The poem works beautifully – love the way you used ‘found poetry’ for it. And thank you for introducing us to such an interesting artist – reclaimed objects, found poetry – perfect combination!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. To use the branches – dry as an old skeleton to recreate such an icon of the west. I like the thought of wild horses roaming – I hope they can be allowed to exist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The problem right now is the drought and lack of food and water. Most of us here and NV are hoping they will use a method of population control rather than rounding them up and selling them to who knows what. A number of those captured are trained and sold as “pets.” That’s better than dog food manufacturers. Ugh.

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  15. HorSe bonEs goNe pASt
    wheRe manes respect
    roads home tRust..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mary says:

    What a talented sculptor. I do think her works will be known in the future….as she has such a unique style!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love everything about this piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. X says:

    What beautiful art. The raw wood gives the feel of the muscle and power of the horse in my opinion. Pretty cool how the dead wood is given new life and new stories to tell in the form of the horse as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The neat thing is, she makes the original from wood, takes it apart and numbers the pieces, has them cast in bronze. The amazing thing is that the patina she creates on the finished piece makes people swear it is wood.

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