In the cold desert night the Wolf Mother howled long and low into the wind. Her call beckoned the lost & abandoned children to her massive, warm Self. From her breasts she fed them. With her fur she shielded them from the cold & with her teeth she protected them from the jackals & the vultures. In the light of the Moon, she taught them to hunt and to love and to dance.

Tigre Bailando and his sculpture Lobo Madre
Tigre Bailando and his sculpture Lobo Madre

The project:

Lobo Madre is a 12 foot tall effigy and temple space built by Tigre Bailando (a founding member of Raised By Wolves). Tigre brought Lobo Madre to Burning Man 2013 where she held space in the courtyard of Raised By Wolves.

Lobo Madre was made out of wood found and reclaimed from the streets of the East Bay – old furniture, discarded building supplies, picture frames, and the forgotten fragments of homes decayed long ago. The sculpture contained two parts: the base which was a temple space designed for individual reflection, meditation, & prayer (what I lovingly refer to as a “single-occupancy” temple.) Greatly inspired by the main temple of Burning Man, there were collectively built altars where visitors left images, tokens, and items of power and significance.

The interior of the Lobo Madre temple for one.
The interior of the Lobo Madre temple for one.

Standing atop the temple pedestal was Wolf Mother herself – a great and proud lupine matriarch howling to the wide sky above her. This figure represented the wild aspect of our collective Mother – the deep source from which we all came. She is that nurturing force, the one that holds us and comforts us, feeds us and keeps us warm. But she is also the one that teaches us to hunt and pushes us out into the night when it is our time to be strong.

The Lobo Madre temple at night.
The Lobo Madre temple at night.

Lobo Madre’s was  a patchwork assemblage of discarded wood. The transforming of “trash” and refuse into art mirrors the very cycle of Life-Death-Life that is inherent in the world around us.

Living in the courtyard of the Raised by Wolves theme camp, Lobo Madre and her temple were a refuge for residents, visitors and passersby.

Lobo Madre holding space in the Raised By Wolves courtyard.
Lobo Madre holding space in the Raised By Wolves courtyard.

At the end of the week, the piece (both statue and temple) was paraded from Raised By Wolves to the ashes of The Man. Raised By Wolves carried Lobo Madre from our camp all the way out to The Man where she was burned. The little prayers, dreams, and fears were transformed and carried up into the heavens. The wood was burned away and from within revealing a metal human figure inside.

The ceremonial parade of Lobo Madre.
The ceremonial parade of Lobo Madre.
Another shot of Lobo Madre being pulled by RxW.
Another shot of Lobo Madre being pulled by RxW.
The beginning of the Lobo Madre burn.
The beginning of the Lobo Madre burn.

 

Raised By Wolves and Lobo Madre right before her burn.
Raised By Wolves and Lobo Madre right before her burn.