Totems played an important role in the early religious history of North America, as well as Asia, Australia, and Europe. A totem represents a natural or mythical animal to which a person feels a spiritual connection. The term is particularly appropriate to this composition: Breaking a large feather rock boulder along its grain yielded these fragments. By simply laying the raw fragments on edge, a herd of large mammals immediately appeared. The composition seems to suggest rhinos or hippos, both of which are on the World Wildlife Fund list of endangered and vulnerable species.
Waves and mist along the river surface are created by a miniature pump and ultrasonic mister hidden between the rocks. The shallow tray framing the composition was fabricated from charred and brushed sustainable western red cedar and reclaimed Corian countertop remnants.