Matriarchal in Mass. gallery

  “March of the Matriarchs’’ (wood sculptures), by Donna Dodson, in her current show, until Nov. 4, at Boston Sculptors Gallery.

“March of the Matriarchs’’ (wood sculptures), by Donna Dodson, in her current show, until Nov. 4, at Boston Sculptors Gallery.

This is Ms. Dodson’s latest series of mysterious animal-human hybrid wood sculptures, this one featuring a sculpture group configured as a chess set.

Dodson cites the genesis of her chess set in five ‘‘mermaids’’ she created in 2016, inspired by ship-prow carvings. She told the gallery: “I wanted to do more with the series, so I set myself the challenge of making an entire chess set.” This idea, the gallery says, let her to build on the “concept of sculptures that interact directly with each other, while reflecting on the interactions among species that have nothing to do with us humans.’’

She read books about chess, noting, “The original chess set was composed of king, general, and male military figures….The queen arrived at a time when powerful queens reigned in England, Russia and Spain.” “{M}y set is maternal—I am thinking about family matriarchies, the realm of power in women's lives, how women wield power and the bonds between women in families.”