Visitors to The Grace Museum will be in awe of what they find in the main gallery – a solo-exhibition filled with the dynamic work of Dallas-based artist Sherry Owens. Promise Me the Earth is a challenging sculptural commentary by Owens about the relationship between mankind and nature.
“Remnants of personal stories, visions and observations in nature are the driving forces in my work,” Owens said. “I believe what we see and do in our daily lives leaves a mark on our planet. Currently, we are depleting our natural resources and altering the environment, resulting in climate change and the disappearance of animal species. It is the direct impact of human activities on the natural world which is often expressed in my artistic practice.”
Owens began her artistic career as a weaver.
“I have always been concerned with natural materials and their value within the creative process. I am really still a weaver, only now I weave with sticks.”
One of Owens’ favorite materials to work with is the sinuous crepe myrtle tree.
“I create connections with nature using collected trees, crepe myrtles found along the side of the road and construction sites.”
Through these sculptures, she tells stories of the Texas landscape, of death, of renewal, of beauty, and of today’s growing environmental concerns.
“I like to think that I make the most of what a single stick has to offer by emphasizing its linear movement. Making a mark on a page is similar to building a sculpture, one stick at a time.”
Owens’ artistic process is quite meticulous. First she draws the design. Then she whittles, carves, waxes, paints, dyes, and burnishes each tree branch before assembling her work with hand hewn pegs, bailing wire and other materials.
“My work is labor intensive; the importance of detail and evidence of my hand in the work takes precedence in my interaction with the materials.”
In addition to her impressive crepe myrtle sculptures, visitors will see art created in maple, brass, bronze and steel casting with patina, dye, wax, milk paint, watercolor, gouache, charcoal, graphite, Chine Colle printing, found objects, marbles, hair, linen, army blankets, soil, and grass seed, just to name a few.
“Promise Me the Earth shares my visual dialogue with nature,” Owens said. “It stands as a challenge to the viewer to simplify their life, to embrace the principles of slow living, to live sustainably and whole. It proclaims that nature is nourishment. It asks the viewer to be more aware of the changing world around them by becoming better stewards of the land.”
Sherry Owens: Promise Me the Earth will remain on view at The Grace Museum through Oct. 2, 2021.
Contributed By The Grace Museum