Mother Bear Prays for Earth Healing
Sponsored by Mitchell’s Supply
“Mother Bear is a spiritual being, acknowledged in the Cree women’s pipe offering, who humbly welcomes all people to come together, regardless of their background, to join in speaking with the mysterious forces of creation.”
If Stewart Steinhauer’s arresting sculpture on display this year seems familiar don’t worry. You’ve probably spent some time in the welcoming circle of two similar bears that anchor a seating area in front of Nelson’s city hall. Or at least noticed their beautiful, warm and inviting forms as the centrepiece of a comfortable place to rest, think and contemplate.
Mother Bear Prays For Earth Healing is as tranquil as it powerful – both in message and impact. The one ton bear’s posture is compacted, she is almost round, with her head bowed tightly to her body. Steinhauer makes great use of contrasting granite, emphasising her haunches, arms and head in polished smooth dark stone while her underbelly and front are rougher and lighter, long vertical stretches of the latter enhance the wonderful composition he achieves. The overall effect of the piece is comforting – this is a bear that is welcoming, reverent and warm.
As he explains, the way his pieces come into being is to an extent driven by his beliefs and spiritual interaction. “I work under the direction of the Rock Spirit. She/he sets the course, provides the raw materials, inspires through dreams and visions, energizes and enlightens through ceremony.”