Photograph with deep blue tint of a nude man, with his back to viewer, sitting on a porch railing, looking out into into the night. On the viewer's right, along the front of the porch, there is abundant vegetation.
Seeing the natural and everyday as supernatural, spiritual, and special. Dugdale's use of antique photographic techniques gives his work a timeless that speaks to issues of memory, togetherness, and loss. That aura of mortality hangs over this tender image of love and anticipation of togetherness.
Shiva stands on a tiny base with little feet in a strict unbending stance. The body is elongated with a small waist, the hips billowing out and tapering in a stylized way to the feet. He has broad shoulders and has four arms. Reading in a clockwise direction from the right front hand, he holds, a sword, another sword, a bow and a shield. He wears a lot of jewelry, necklaces that cover his entire chest, at least three belts with pendant decorations and what appears to be a bustle like garment that billows out from his waist and has a beaded border that curves down across his legs below his knees. He wears large earrings and a crown decorated with a disk for the sun and crescent for the moon. He has large wide opened eyes and what almost looks like two sets of eyebrows, a dot where his third eye should be and a luxurious moustache.
Unlike the elegant and courtly figures of Shiva and Parvati produced in northeast India six centuries earlier (also on view in the exhibition), these two figures bristle with a fierce energy. The style seen here is unique to the region of Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu, in the far south of the subcontinent. There are many such guardian figures with sword and shield found throughout the south in both metal and terracotta; this pair can be identified as Shiva and Parvati by Parvati’s small cup, probably a kapala or skull cup, which refers to Shaivite ascetic practices.
Although Ball joined the circle of the American Neo-classical sculptor Hiram Powers, his work remained rooted in an objective naturalism and a devotion to American subjects. The monuments, small bronzes and portraits he produced in the following years are characterized by their smooth surfaces and minimal detail.
Signed in pencil in margin below l.r. corner of image: Keith Shaw Williams. In pencil at l.l. corner of sheet: a18002 [....] 14; in pencil on a circular tab (now ripped) pasted on u.r. corner of sheet: 164; In pencil in l.l. corner of mat: JMK 134; in pencil at l.c. of mat: KEITH SHAW WILLIAMS (1906-1951)/ PORTRAIT OF STOW WEGENROTH DRAWING/ ON A LITHOGRAPHIC STONE. Reproduced as/ fronticespiece in The Lithographs of stow Wegenroth [underlined]. 1974