Alison Owen

WallWorks at deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park

For Wall Works, Owen selected two drawings for a proposed deCordova Sculpture Park installation by Irish artist Michael Timpson. Timpson’s project, Knock Three Times and Whisper Low, was built in the Park in 1981. The building was a temple to labor, the simple shingled structure housed a minimal installation of wheelbarrows and spades that memorialized Timpson’s farming background.

In Transliteration, Owen uses the dimensions and materials noted in Timpson’s proposal drawings, like shingles, to inform her wall drawing. In this project Owen plays with a sense of temporal displacement, simultaneously continuing Timpson’s project in a new form while including the drawings as traces or residual marks of what once was.

In addition, Owen also explores the history of the Dewey Family Gallery in Transliteration. In response to photographs of the gallery when it was the show room for Julian deCordova’s European treasures – triple hung with oil paintings – Owen has included old frames found in deCordova’s storage to acknowledge the long and complicated history of this space as both a personal/domestic and public gallery. Owen pays close attention to the wall, the brick molding, the patterns of the tapestries and fabrics seen in the old photographs, and even the dust in the gallery, featuring the overlooked parts of the space and exposing the different layers of deCordova history in Transliteration.

-Lexi Lee Sullivan, curator