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This project was successfully funded on June 2, 2017


by James Tyler



Three towering figures formed in a stylized mixed media assemblage.  In name they reference the mythological beings of Native American lore.  In concept the sculptures speak to the universality of our human spirit viewed through our stories across time and geography.


The figures are each 16 to 18 feet in height. Legs and torsos are inverted forked tree trunks, rough hewn and planed smooth. Heads are high fire terra cotta. Wings/arms are rusty plates of weathered steel.


The grouping of towering figures is a gathering of human spirits. The steel wings create the illusion of motion in space. Worn and weathered the rusty steel evokes the transience of time. Sound elements conger a sense of primordial place; the dry lakebed, the playa.  In a Black Rock Desert dust storm I expect participants to find themselves in a place of otherworldliness.  Lighting for this installation with be simple, a circle of illumination, an ethereal cocoon; an open invitation for participatory continuation of the interactive experience into the night.

In some of the traditional stories, the thunderbirds number four, representing north, south, east, and west. Mine will number three, but a place will be delineated for the viewer to step in, to join the assembly, to become the fourth entity.


What is our collective future?  The Thunderbirds are assembled from tree trunks [life on earth], ceramic human heads [humanity/us] and rusted steel [time/industrial civilization in decay]. They are guardians from the higher world, protectors of the lower world. They are human in form, not avian. They are earthbound. They are all of us. We are them.


Signed Photo of Thunderbirds - 

Will be taken at this year's festival. 

Brickhead Sculpture Catalog - Signed by the artist

Small Brickhead Sculpture - Ht. 4" - Original signed artwork-

Small Brickhead Truth Sculpture  - Ht. 6" -  Original signed artwork -


Small Thunderbird - Ht 20" - Original signed artwork -

Small Thunderbird2 -  Ht. 22" - original signed artwork -


Brickface - Ht. 28" -Original signed artwork-
Brickhead   -  Ht. 16" - Original signed artwork - 


Thunderbird Earth - Ht. 54" - Original signed artwork

Thunderbird Re-bar - Ht. 60" - Original signed artwork - 

Thunderbird I-beam - Ht. 50" - Original signed artwork -

Seated Male Figure -  Ht. 24" -  Original signed artwork -


Seated Female Figure -  Ht. 24" -  Original signed artwork - 

Thunderbird [Prototype for Burning Man Project] - Ht. 120" - Original signed artwork -

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