A Friday Presentation: Shea Wilkinson


Join Hoover Studios for an evening of art and community
Friday, April 25th from 6pm – 9pm.

*The exhibition will be on display through May 16th, 2014. Please contact Hoover Studios to schedule a viewing. 

The Mastercraft Building
1111 N. 13th St. #120
Omaha, NE 68102


The Followers detail
‘The Followers’ detail

Shea Wilkinson, a Nebraska native, has sewn clothes, costumes, quilts, and dolls since childhood. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in International Studies and German Language. Afterward, she taught English in Mexico, during which time she became  passionate about creating art. She returned to the United States and immediately pursued a new career as an artist. She has exhibited widely, and has won numerous awards for her intricate, thread-based work. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and two cats.

She writes:

“Tales Retold” is a collection of work inspired by ancient petroglyphs portraying encounters with shadowy figures and zoomorphic humanoid forms. These unlikely characters were recorded by our ancestors all over the globe and preserved for millennia on the walls of remote canyons and caves. For me, they were begging to be brought to life again, to have their story retold. I used a mix of source materials, from caves in the Sahara to the vast canyons of Utah, to create a cast of characters to populate my works. From there, I simply imagined myself in a cave, observing who/what came for a visit.

Mixed in with the basic retelling of the petroglyphs is a reference to Plato’s “Cave Parable”, in which the “cave prisoners” mistake the shadow of an object with its reality.


The Great Ghost

The Great Ghost

“Socrates describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not constitutive of reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.” (Wikipedia)

I didn’t think of this parable in terms of how “blind” prehistoric peoples were to think they were visited by these beings. I thought of it more in terms of how we’re all liable to see reality in this way, always by the reflections or shadows, never by the reality behind it. Regardless, it can be deduced that ancient peoples around the world had these encounters in common, and they were significant events, intended to be memorialized for generations. Who or what they attempted to represent, we will never know (until maybe we do).

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