Amalia Shaltiel

Becoming Fox
Geese Passing by Night
The Sacrifice of Bear

Artist Statement

Animals for me are a wonder. I feel so blessed when I am given the opportunity to view their life and their goings on and once in a while I remember to point the camera and catch one moment of the many in our encounters. We have had four or five generations of geese raise their young next to us from day old hatchlings to mature teenagers that can fly with the whole community and I watch as the mothers and fathers teach the young everything they need to know. They are such good parents.
We are also blessed with herons and egrets on our bank. How lovely to catch their motion.
I also connect to animals on the totemic level where we are in a conversation and each animal has a medicine to teach us. If we learn the language of spirit around us, we are always in conversation and always in relationship

aho mitakuye oyasin – All My Relations


Memories and Mindscapes

At this point in my life I try not to make too much art. I usually make one or 2 sculptures a year enjoying the physical process. The rest of the time I paint. I rarely start with a set idea but let it emerge in the process of folding and shaping the diamond lathe armature. I enjoy the building up with the sand cement which is stuffed into the core of each sculpture and the slow development that allows for change during the process.

Cement is a wonderful material. One can leave it for a long while and come back and just continue. By the end of the sand cement process I have a pretty good idea what the sculpture is about, and then the layers of colored fiber cement are applied and sanded and applied till the sculpture says I’m done. Many times these sculptures can be turned over, like you would a body, sometimes lying on its back and sometimes standing up. The shapes are organic, dynamic and somewhat mysterious and humorous in their meaning. I work with my subconscious to tease out their meaning – the jumble of visual input that is stored in there.

I started working with cement because I wanted sculptures that would stand the elements. These sculptures continue to evolve as they come into contact with the outside world in which they live.