Ronald Anderson – – – Native American Artist
Ronald Anderson: “Chair – Tree” or “Mother’s Day” – – – Tree sculpture: Tree, chairs, fastening material – – – Location of the tree: Oklahoma (USA)
The Chair – Tree
At that time, in summer 2000, in Bremen „An der Schlachte“, there could be seen an installation (along the Weser in the inner urban area): A yellow chair had been fastened on each of the “Dalben” (tree thick mooring posts made of wood).
The row of the chairs – put so – should remind that every emigrant to America had left a “chair” here in Europe. This was an art action which had been in connection with the opening of the Emigrant Museum in Bremerhaven.
There at the Weser, our look had often fallen on this installation in one of the restaurants in which we sometimes had sat. – – – We had translated the background of the content described above to “those chairs put strangely” for our guests. It, however, had not become a general topic among us.
Ronald Anderson (R.A.) had occupied himself with this installation more than we had been aware of at that time, though. – – – We had received a letter which had included this photo some months, after R.A. had returned to – Oklahoma:
It shows the topics which he had taken along home: His painting “Thinking Out” (see “Art Touches Art – 25”) stands right below on the ground, above of this there is a construction in the vertical format with an “abstract painting” (in the colors yellow and blue) and finally a yellow chair which R.A. had fastened on a wood post rises right above in the black of the background.
This is the first photo to this topic which Ronald Anderson had sent to us from Oklahoma. Basically it shows the processing of his impressions from Bremen (Germany).
“A game with keepsakes” had arisen.…
It has not stayed with this game, though. Furthermore Ronald Anderson had had a good look at the topic! And when the result of his continuous discussion in form of another photo finally reached us, the chairs had moved on a tree and had taken on the color red. In an immediate neighborhood to this R.A. had fastened a big Indian drum: The chairs still are stacked and therefore one stands “the wrong way round”. I see in this a comment to this time, when the incoming Europeans were about just to set up themselves in the “New World”.
With the move into the treetops I knot to my interpretation of “Thinking Out” (see “Art Touches Art – 25”). Into this I talk about the “liberty of the thinking” which can be felt in the treetops there above (with what R.A. had felt very much understood): On the painting “Thinking Out” this freedom of thought had consisted in dipping his thinking into his “Indian consciousness”. This tree – installation of Ronald Anderson shows a particular phase of the past:
The thinking of the immigrants had moved on the trees!
Self-confidently the American natives had also moved on the trees and tried to maintain or to integrate their own way of thinking.
And to express their will to self-determination, the American natives had raised their voice loudly, symbolized by the drum.…
The next photo shows to which result the further course in history had led:
The complete tree had been populated by “chairs” in the meantime!
Picture above: Ronald Anderson approaches the observer; his tree – sculpture can be seen in the background. – – – Picture below: This tree – sculpture can be seen once again from another viewpoint and at other time of day.
Following my approach for interpretation (*1) consequently to an end while seeing this result, I have just thought of this title: “The occupied tree”… (*1 See my explanations to “liberty of thinking” above and in “Art Touches Art – 25”)
Some time ago, however, Cynthia Adams had written to me what the idea of her uncle Ronald Anderson is in connection with his work of art, the tree – sculpture: ‘The tree “Mother’s Day”, stretches out the arms (branches) while waiting that his, her children will come home’. (Formulated analogously)
A rededication of the meaning of the symbol “chair” by Ronald Anderson!
It is a touching idea that this arrangement represents a symbol for the wish to be expected and received with the family of one’s own. The Earth – Mother is waiting for all members of the family keeping a chair on every arm with extended arms (branches). The reunion will let increase the feeling of identity and the roots of one’s own.
And such, the Tree – Sculpture “Mother`s Day” (*2) has become the symbol for this, finite completely being arrived at oneself – after a long way of identity – search…
Interpretation: Renate Hugel
(*2) The naming “Mother’s Day” refers to it, that Ronald Anderson had completed the “Chair Tree” on a Mother’s Day. He cannot remember the year any more.
Remark 1: Current stand: To Ronald Anderson I have written under “Art Touches Art” the contributions “Art Touches Art – 1”, “Art Touches Art – 13”, “Art Touches Art – 19”, “Art Touches Art – 25” and “Art Touches Art – 28”. Furthermore you find a “remark to Ronald Anderson” on HOME (from the 24th of July 2015).
In addition, there is a mention under “Art Touches Art – 16” (the contribution to the teamwork “block-pictures”).
Remark 2: The contributions under „Art Touches Art“ refer to the symposium „Attempt of an Encounter – Five Native American Artists meet five European Artists“. This had taken place in Bremen (Germany), in the year 2000. Whoever would like to ask about the genesis of the symposium can scroll back till „Art Touches Art – 1“, then continue scrolling back till Information about ‚Art Touches Art‘; after that you find then the „Chronology of the Past History“. Renate Hugel