Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Capitol Building in Santa Fe

On a recent trip to New Mexico, we stopped at the state's capitol building in Santa Fe.  It's a very nice building, very inviting.  Here's the senate chamber:

The lobbies are full of beautiful art work, including the following painting that caught my eye:

I love the various Native America motifs in the painting, and especially the three symbolic dragonflies.  The lower one is reminiscent of a Flame Skimmer, the middle one makes me think of a Red Rock Skimmer, and the top one could be a Western Pondhawk.  In any case, it was cool to see these dragonfly representations in the halls of power in Santa Fe.

The bluish dragonfly at the top is near a spiral symbol:

I've looked for the meaning of these spirals, which are quite common in Native American art, but no one really knows what they mean.  Some say they stand for water, others say they signify life, but no one knows for sure.

My thought – a bit biased I must admit – has always been that the spirals could represent the water spraying off a dragonfly as it performs a spin-dry after a series of splash-dunks.  What is particularly interesting in this painting is the association between the dragonfly symbol and the spiral symbol – there might be something to my spin-dry interpretation after all.

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