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PAST Exhibitions & EVENTS

Markers of Time: Prints by Marilyn A. Owens

Opening Reception:

Thursday, October 1, 2015-5-8pm 

Show Runs:

October 1 - November 29

The prints of Marilyn Owens could be considered a type of lament, an aesthetic lament for the passage of time, for people and places now lost, and for the events that often bring unwanted change or movement. For Owens the act of migration has figured prominently in her life-story and, the abstract notion of time has played a critical, if not sometimes ethereal, role in her artistic practice as evidenced in her two series of etchings Landmarks and From a Churchyard. In the former, the buildings and constructions refer to sites in her local community of Brevik, Norway, and, in the latter, the gravestones portrayed, whether alone or in groups, symbolize the passage of time and that which has gone before.  This exhibition is part of a cultural exchange program titled Migrating Societies, organized by Ida Bringedal From Telemark Art Center in Skein, Norway, in partnership with Todd Bockley of Bockley Gallery. Twin cities artist Pao Houa Her and Portland based Wendy Red Star will be exhibiting at Telemark Art Center at the same time.

Owens was born in 1950 in Durham City, which lies in North East England. Her father was a policeman and, thus, the family moved six times throughout Durham County before she left home to attend Sunderland University (which has been an important center for education since 674 AD) at age eighteen. In 1972 Owens graduated from Sunderland with a degree in fine arts, and in 1978 she received a degree in art education from Newcastle University. With a friend she later moved to Norway where she continued her studies, graduating in 1995 with a B.A. in the History of Art, History and English from Oslo University. “Little did I realize that when I moved to Norway it would be for life,” she says.

Website image is of Coverlet.-Coverlet is one of the most arresting etchings comprising the series From a Churchyard. It was inspired by an event in Brevik when Owens came upon a gravestone engraved only with a child’s Christian name. The area around the marker was rough and untended. Haunted by the experience, she created Coverlet. To evoke a sense of loss as well as comfort in the etching, she placed a fur coverlet on the barren ground before the child’s gravestone. To further amplify the poignancy of the scene, Owens isolated the gravestone on an empty expanse of land with a distant, high horizon line – like the landscape of her youth - rather than portraying it among a sea of other markers.

The above text is selections from the exhibition catalog essay by Mason Riddle.

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