Babe the Blue Ushi
Hopewell Valley Stampede, 2014
Hopewell Valley Arts Council, Pennington, NJ
About the Project
Babe the Blue Ushi is one of 69 fiberglass oxen designed by local artists in New Jersey as part of a public art display called the Hopewell Valley Stampede in 2014. The Stampede is the first major project organized by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council. Babe was supported by the Straube Foundation and the Tenants of Straube Center (with particular thanks to Alisandra Wederich!).
Babe the Blue Ushi is a product of East meets West. From the West, Babe the Blue Ox, the beloved best friend of Paul Bunyan (as I was inspired by in my childhood). And from the East, the Japanese art of shibori, a dye process using indigo (a technique I am currently exploring as an artist); also, “ushi” translates to ox in Japanese. With this design, I used a combination of arashi, kanoko, and itajime shibori techniques (resist dyeing) on cotton, which I then glued to the ox directly. I wanted to bring a childhood folk tale to life-sized proportions with this sculpture, perhaps inspiring a younger generation to enjoy the melding of American and Japanese cultures.