Hibernating Bear by Mary Engel. All Rights Reserved.
My lifelong love for animals and the connection I feel with them inspires me to sculpt. My current pack, Gabrielle and Tinkerbelle make me walk, play and laugh every day.
I am fascinated by the animal archetype as it is found in diverse cultures. The first intentional burials with ritual objects occurred 35,000 years ago and, with them, the first expressions of human faith appeared. Among these objects, a predominant burial image was the animal. The use of ritualized animal images has had enduring religious, mythic, and aesthetic significance. For me, these images symbolize a bridge between the rational and instinctual worlds.
‘Hibernating Bear’ was inspired by the repeal on hunting restrictions, allowing the killing of hibernating bears and wolves and their cubs on or near federally protected lands. The pose of this sculpture covered with ammo is vulnerable yet muscled with large claws. Unfortunately, no law or amount of strength can protect her or her family.