& Ginger Owen
January 11 - February 5, 2016
Thursday, January 21
3:00pm - 4:00pm
4:30pm - 6:30pm
Heritage Habitats is a series of physical spaces for contemplation and invocation of ancestry. Framed around nostalgia and memory, Kites, Cairn, Grove and Roots are large scale, sculptural and experiential installations that engage in viewers’ unique memories and experiences. In essence, the work emphasizes commonalities that bind people and cultures and serve as an expression of humanism.
Methods for creating these works involve appropriating imagery from our respective family albums then, framing our ideas around the experience generated from remembering our past. The images we select are iconic in nature, typical of pictures that exist in all family photo albums. They reference concepts linked to blueprints of identity and help us to find our place in a larger historical picture. We value history and tradition as the staples of human life while acknowledging that representations of realities are altered by elapsed time and convoluted memories.
The four installations that comprise Heritage Habitats explore collective memories through vernacular photography and the act of pursuing one’s history as a universal human experience. Ultimately, the works are a residue of the process of self-discovery and catharsis. They are concerned with aspects of imaging oneself in a genealogical lineage while contemplating basic life stages: birth, infancy, youth, adulthood, old age and ultimately death.
Kites represents a communal conversation on the influence of family history and the life stage of youth. A young girl’s dress form is tethered to images of her past with umbilical cord-like lines. Ghostlike images of her ancestors metaphorically hover above on carefree kites.
Cairn references a burial mound or marker. This installation operates like a box of photographs – piles of images to sift through. Structured like a gravestone it memorializes the passing of life.
Grove is an abstraction of a forest, predominantly vertical, and communal in nature —an interdependent ecosystem dependent upon reseeding itself for survival. Grove acts as a metaphor for the family of man; and, like a sacred grove, it requires a disturbance (viewer interaction) to be transformative.
Roots is a low key, horizontal image that reads as a organic chart or circulatory systems that connect us all, referencing the family of man. Considering Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”, the negative images represent the shadows of our unknown past, ancestors in our blood memory that can only be accessed, felt in our genes.
All gallery exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public. For open gallery hours or call (989) 964-4159. The University Art Gallery is located in the Arbury Fine Arts Center on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University, svsu.edu/visit/campusmaps.