Human Totem Pole Drawing


Totem Pole


I am working on a large, 2.4m long pencil totem pole drawing at the moment.

I want to finish two of these totem pole drawings by my open studio event in May (17th -19th at Second Floor Studio and Arts). The traditional meanings and designs of totem poles have never been fixed and can range from mortuary structures to representations of quarrels to personal artistic expressions.


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Drawing, shading, drawing and shading, large scale drawing, surreal drawing, surreal art, Jessica Ballantyne, melting bodies, drawn boobs, drawn breasts, bodies intertwined, morphing bodies, female body art, totem pole, human totem pole, fleshy totem pole, large scale art, big scale drawing, long pencil drawing, pencil body, pencil feet, pencil bum, fleshy body growing upwards,

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 The idea

The drawing grew out of an idea about spiritual growth being painful and about the pain being an illusion.

It was going to be titled “Growing Pains”, featuring a fleshy tree of limbs and breasts, twisted and distorted.

So I began with a head that was being suffocated by a large pair of buttocks and intended for body parts to be growing out of each other, culminating in a Flower of Life ( a sacred geometry symbol, representing the knowledge of the entire universe) .


The idea changed somewhat as I moved up the “totem pole” and that’s when I became interested in the idea of a living totem pole and what it means to be disidentified with the body whilst still being aware of self.

I wanted to create a body that became something that was alive, self aware and not connected to an individual person.

The body sprouts its own limbs and is biologically nonsensical (boobs growing over the buttocks).

For me, the different body parts stacked up on one another becomes a sign for  feelings of disconnection with one’s self.  At the same time, the body becomes a symbol of self that becomes self aware.[/one_half]


Can you spot anything unusual?

I like to instill innuendos and sometimes visual trickery in my work. Can you spot any? I would love to read your comment below!


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2 thoughts on “Human Totem Pole Drawing

  1. I really like these drawings! There are a couple of optical illusion type things I see, I see a phallic shape in between the feet!Also the breasts and buttocks kind of look like a face:)

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