Creation Date



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alcohol ink, patinaed bronze, driftwood, leather, copper, glass


Dimensions: 12 x 27 x 2.5 inches (Feather Ball); 8 x 4 x 1 inches (The Book of Lost Knowledge)

Artist Statement

Mythology is considered history to some extent and is backed up by artifacts giving some truth to mythological stories and events. Norse archaeology is uncovering artifacts that prove some theories about the Vikings to be false and are also proving that they were very distinguished and not always the dishonorable butchers they have been made out to be. Nature is also a celestial part of Norse Mythology. My current body of work results from a combination of my love of nature, my ancestral heritage from Norway and my desire to create sculpture as a woman. The Norse Ash Tree installation can be viewed as a didactic sculpture, which contains my sculptural artifacts based on Norse mythology and the sagas about Freya the Norse Goddess.

Exploring the nature of ambiguity is an inevitable part of human existence. The Earth Connector holds both female and male properties in its structure, representing how the gender roles in Norse Mythology were considered equal unlike in today’s society. The Earth Connector also displays a Norse interweaving design, which can be seen in many Viking artifacts. Freya had armor consisting of many ornaments, one of which was a cloak of feathers. Shoulder Armor with Cloak of Feathers has ancient Viking symbolism in the heavy bronze shoulder pads, light weighted aluminum for the feathers, and additional mediums, which reference the adornment in her sagas. Helmet was created from shapes based on the design of butterfly wings. This Helmet holds both female and male properties in its structure just like The Earth Connector. The Feather Shield is associated with the falcon feathers modified and adorned with modern technology. The hybridity of this artifact holds some truth about Norse Mythology.

Freya is said to have cried tears of amber. The Amber Crystals are inspired by this story. The Feather Ball is based on one of the ancient Viking sagas about a game played with a felt ball and a stick of wood. The Book of Lost Knowledge is based on how science and archeology is continually discovering things that were once common knowledge but were lost over time. The Book of Lost Knowledge contains the symbol associated with Freya and ancient Norse writings. Current technology, science and archeology is confirming many myths to be false, yet several myths are supported by uncovered artifacts. The driftwood and patinaed bronze piece titled Found Object represents how Viking tribes used trees for many things such as letters, names, boats, life knowledge and the Tree of Life. The Found Object shows a similar process of collecting knowledge that has been constructed by our cultures and environments. This piece is adorned with bronze to replace the parts that have been lost over time.


© Shelley Renae Sinquefield Needles, 2017. Photo Credit: Allison Corona.

Exhibit Images


bronze, aluminum, artifacts, lost wax, sculpture, Viking, Norse