Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wild Kingdom

The Telephone Room Gallery chose the artist for the August 2009 City Arts Tacoma Curator's Eye. We chose Shannon Eakins who lived in Seattle and then Tacoma for the past 8 years or so, and recently moved to Las Vegas to pursue her MFA in sculpture. We miss her already.

Unfortunately, magazines have to edit their articles but we want to share with you the original article that we wrote...

Wild Kingdom
Shannon Eakins, Artist Selected by Martin Gengenbach, Ellen Ito and Heide Fernandez-Llamazares of the Telephone Room Gallery

Almost any city dweller has had an encounter with wildlife. The moment when you see a crow on the sidewalk, and you both stop short, eyes this a greeting? An acknowledgement? A silent challenge? What informs our interactions with wild animals? Do we want to tame them? Engage with them? Live among them undetected? Shannon Eakins' artwork reflects upon such moments of secret communication and explores our shared experiences with the Animal Kingdom.

While living in Tacoma for the past five years, Shannon has engaged with falcons, deer, and other animals of the Northwest. Her work doesn't simply depict animals-this is art that aims to be meaningful to animals and to beguile them: an exquisite, intricately embroidered falconry glove, an alluring installation of kinetic sculpture that mimics the sounds, sights and scents of deer mating rituals.

Shannon contemplates our shared urban environment and the animals that surround us but are not our pets. It is something we can all relate to: we've all had experiences with animals, either thrilling in the connection made ("and then it looked right at me") or not made ("and it didn't even see me").

"Dolphins may voluntarily swim with us (and have for decades, in the Bahamas), but what if I actually entice a whitetail deer into a gallery to participate in my installation, or what if that falcon actually comes when I call it? I want to see if animals can care about what I make. People seek something from wild animals even when they are not using them to fulfill a basic need. Could the same be said in reverse? I really want there to be a reason for this reciprocity and I want my work to explore that desire." --Shannon Eakins

I Made This for Us. 2008. Embroidered leather falconry glove, hood, and bronze whistle. Performance/documentation views. Dimensions variable. Photos courtesy of Shannon Eakins.

Shannon's blog:

Eakins & Dombrosky: and

Shannon was a part of the Telephone Room Gallery's inaugural Hello! show (February 18 - April 30, 2009). The Telephone Room Gallery is always viewable by appointment at

No comments:

Post a Comment