All These Have Voices

Our October Exhibition “All These Have Voices” features new work from Exhibiting Artists Wendy Allen in Fiber and Beth j. Tarkington in Clay. The exhibition is open October 7th-29th.

Everything has its own voice. Thunder and lightning and stars and planets,

flowers, birds, animals, trees, ~ all these have voices, and they constitute a

 community of existence that is profoundly related.

-Thomas Berry

Wendy Allen Artist Statement:

Thomas Berry’s quote regarding the interconnectedness of nature resonates with my core – for it has always seemed that everything around me does have a voice.

I spent much of my childhood in solitary exploration of the woods surrounding my home, often anthropomorphizing my environment.  To this day, I’ve been known to talk to trees and greet the flowers in my garden.  As a singer, in addition to being a felt-maker, I’ve recorded several sessions interacting with natural soundscapes– specifically with cicadas.  During the very early days of the Pandemic, when the world was so extraordinarily quiet, the voices in our yard were remarkably amplified.  From the nighttime conversations of Barred owls to the yip and warble of the Red Foxes, they all seemed to be taking advantage of this unusual solitude.  It was an un-looked-for bright spot in otherwise dark times.

This body of work incorporates some of the specific voices I heard during that time as well as many of my favorite woodland and fantastical motifs, but in more sculptural detail than I usually put into my production work.  I also took the liberty of introducing the ice dragon – a character who has had a strong voice in my imagination since childhood.  Felt-making sculptural wearables allows me to give form to the voices of my life.  This is my instrument to describe the chorus both around and within me.  It is my hope that these pieces will encourage my collectors to connect with those voices as well.

Beth j. Tarkington Artist Statement:

This body of work began with the “tree” sculptures. I had visited Mexico in 2018 and was inspired by the colors and patterns of local art. Tying this inspiration to my love of all things Nature-the work began. Wendy Allen found this quote and we chose part of it for our show titles. The work was about honoring the well-being of nature. And then Covid hit. So Whilte I still do honor our connections to Nature as her stewards, my thoughts and work turned to finding Joy and repsite in the natural world. The final words of this Thomas Barry quote: “…a community of existence that is profoundly related.” is where I think my work sits now. We can find our voice by listening to Nature’s.