Monthly Archives: January 2014

“Art Touches Art – 5“

Sherman Chaddlesone


Sherman Chaddlesone (2nd of June 1947 – 17th of August 2013) – Painter, Printmaker and Sculptor

Work situation from the year 2000 in front of the gallery „pro art“, Bremen / Germany

 Sherman Chaddlesone had brought a present he had prepared for us: He gave us an insight into “his world” and the way how his culture puts a meeting like ours under a good spirit: Therefore Sherman Chaddlesone had taken on to prepare all of us for a good success of our symposium at the beginning. He informed us about it, that he would like to carry out a cleaning ceremony with us and asked us to form a circle together. Sherman Chaddlesone had been in the center of this circle; he had hold in his hands a packet tied up, from sage and cedar needles, and switched it on now. We saw the smoke already climbing. With the help of some body movements executed by him he caused direction diversions of the smoke. He strengthened those direction diversions by moving a tuft of a white sage (on its above held together with short cedar branches) so that the smoke gradually spread out into the room and we now also could detect its smell. Sherman Chaddlesone then directed the accompanying words the row after to each of us. With that he had been facing each of us – the row after as well – in order to clean by “washing movements” the personal energies of each person so that one had got the feeling to take a bath in the smoke…

All of us agreed in this that he had given us a special experience with that! – – – If nowadays I think back to this experience, I realize that this ceremony had steered my thoughts like also feelings into two directions: On the one hand I wanted to understand the experienced rationally; on the other hand I felt interest in allowing intuition. – I decided in favor of the symbiosis of both: Smoke is the result of it that a material – state of being is getting destroyed by fire. The ascending smoke lets climb up the idea of this material – state into the height of the spheres of the sky. The earthbound of this idea has had to be let off…

By this ceremony we had been invited to give up and to let off the bad thoughts wanting to be materialized and to leave them to the ascending smoke.…

Our symbolical thinking understands this message, and the sage helps us at it.… – – –  Sherman Chaddlesone as well had had the intention “to offer help” while explaining the ritual. With that he had given to us quite unobtrusively a feeling of each other and he had left it up to everybody to dock oneself to his clear and strong thought – currents.…

For this contribution I have taken a photograph of the sage – tuft. While moving the tuft from the wall I had become conscious of it, how freshly and powerfully this sage – tuft still looked after 13 years! And I realized now that I have never had to remove spider’s webs or dust of it. – I feel impressed!


Original-Sage – Tuft, which Sherman Chaddlesone had brought along from Oklahoma in the year 2000 for the “Cleaning Ceremony“ / Photo: Renate Hugel, 2013

 Remark: These memories of mine of the „Cleaning – Ceremony“ of 13 years ago are possibly incomplete (or even faulty?) and personally colored.

In this purified intellectual – spiritual state we then had started to work artistically each according to his / her personal way.… – – – While looking at the analogous photos, having been made at that time, I noticed, in which highly motivated condition Sherman Chaddlesone had worked. With that he had been open to all new impressions to which he had reacted during his work process. This had been the reason, why he had decided to work sculpturally in between times, too. Heinz Hugel had brought a couple of sandstones of Ibbenbüren. Sherman Chaddlesone had chosen one stone, not too big. The idea which came to him while regarding “his stone” had been to form a buffalo of it. But he did not want simply to start working in his usually way. He had included Heinz Hugel in his considerations and had let himself be inspired by our “free” way of forming artworks. And, sometime, then the idea had arisen for a material mix at a contrasting execution conception: The buffalo – head Sherman Chaddlesone had formed out of clay, carefully and precise in each detail, with a smooth surface. The body he had planned to work out of the stone. He worked by doing short blows, so that the blow iron left rough traces on the surface of the sandstone of Ibbenbüren, what associated the woolly – look of the fur. When looking quite exactly at the ready buffalo – sculpture you can recognize that the tool traces have not been distributed evenly on the body – surface. There, where those blow traces are missing, you get the impression of shady spots or, that the fur had become compressed at certain spots. This seems to be a reference to the gravity, which has an effect there, where the great weight of the resting buffalo has distributed its mass.


Sherman Chaddlesone: Buffalo Sculpture – – – Sandstone of Ibbenbüren and Clay – – – Bremen (Germany), 2000 – – – “Sherman Chaddlesone had let himself in for an experiment and opened himself to a free and expressive approach with this sculpture.” Therefore this sculpture is atypical for him.” – – – Renate Hugel

The earthbound of the buffalo seems to us very familiar regarding this heavy animal. The dark areas, however, appear more composed with accented gestures consciously than done spontaneously. Sherman Chaddlesone wanted to emphasize particularly the aspect “earth attachment” for the observer. – – – Why? – – – I recognized the answer to it a good year later, then, when we had come to the return visit to Oklahoma: In Anadarko, the hometown of Sherman Chaddlesone, we also went to the “Southern Plains Indian Museum” in Anadarko. There is a room, in which a series is of large-sized oil paintings are to be seen (See: “A Good Recover for Sherman Chaddlesone“ under “Into Memory of Sherman Chaddlesone“). As a whole they tell the history of the Kiowa – Indian, from up the very beginning of their legend formation – therefore deal with the genesis of the human existence from the view of the Kiowa ancestors. The individual vertical formats have all a height of approx. 2.50 m and are painted by different Kiowa – artists.  Among them is a picture sequence of the same size painted by Sherman Chaddlesone. In his paintings he also had taken reference to the Kiowa – legends, but also picked out the consequences by the appearing of the white immigrants as a theme, however. I still remember very exactly at one of his oil paintings. The previous picture showed gigantic herds of buffalos, after that the mentioned oil painting followed: A meager, withered grass landscape could be seen – neither man nor animal being there. Therefore I turned my look towards the upper picture part. This consisted of a deeply overcast sky. Small cloud things push thick to thick there: A sky full of cirrus clouds! At the next moment I am realizing: There are floating crowds of apparently thousands of buffalos in the sky! Within these crowds only their heads could be seen. And all of them looked down aghastly on the grass landscape, where – as it seemed – just before had been their native country! The artist had painted every single little cloud of this sky softly, sensitively and at the same time very expressively, so that it represented both CLOUD and BUFFALO – HEAD… A very impressive painting! – – – Afterwards I had got the impression that – with this buffalo – sculpture – Sherman Chaddlesone had expressed the regained earth attachment of the buffalos with the stone and that he had given back to the buffalo’s soul an earthen face of loam… Renate Hugel