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Jane Sherry: Creating Spiritual Art for the New Millennium

By Jane Sherry on Mar 15, 2016

Jane’s Story About Her Art

The ancient traditions of priestess, shaman, scribe and storyteller serve as the foundation and inspiration for my work.

For thousands of years, healers, keepers of the temple, clairvoyants and mystics have used mythical narratives woven of text and imagery to connect the sacred and the everyday worlds, and to collect and focus energies for healing, for visions, for fertility, and for community.

Using organic materials and colors derived from the vegetable, mineral and animal kingdoms, these custodians of the Divine created art and stories whose beauty triggered mystical states of being in the beholder.

The fetishes and amulets of the shaman brought the medicine of higher worlds to the wounded human spirit. For thousands of years, yogis and householders in India have created altars, sophisticated paintings and sacred texts designed to trigger altered states of being in the viewer by inviting their pantheon of gods and goddesses to take up residence in the home and in the heart of the devotee. The sacred geometry of religious architecture, along with the staff and rod of Egyptian priests connected the people to the powers that reside in the timeless cycles of life, death and rebirth, enabling initiates to transcend these cycles altogether. The altar of the Greek high priestess was the site of prophetic visions, the home of the oracle of Divine wisdom, and the matrix for the invocation of healing energies to benefit the community. The medieval alchemists used the vocabulary of mathematics, chemistry and mysticism in creating rich texts and images to purify their own minds and hearts and transform their base emotions into the pure gold of spiritual awareness and self-realization.

As an artist, I create work that combines images and narrative text--drawings, one-of-a-kind and limited edition artist books and mixed media sculptures. My drawings, books, digital artwork and photographs draw upon traditions of sacred geometry, herbal healing lore, and ancient folk wisdom to convey a sense of mystical unity with nature, and through that unity with nature, an experience of higher worlds, a sense of the Divine that resides within and transcends all that exists in this universe. I utilize mixed media to create altars in the form of sacred boxes, and other objects, such as artistic talismans that combine beauty with the power to heal the spirit.

I choose my palette from flowers and bones and petals and worms, glass, clay, sand and stone, these are some of my things, gathered from my garden, my dinner plate and in my beloved woods and streams and mountains.

I also use the more traditional materials of wood, cardboard, glass, and clay and found objects, images and inspired text from dreams and other altered states of consciousness.

My work is guided and informed equally by place, by intuition, by world events, by socio-political realities, and by the nature of the materials themselves. I believe that the custodians of the sacred have a timeless duty to honor, protect, inform and heal the communities of which they form a vital center point.

The work can function as a bridge for the mind to the realm of myth and hieroglyph, as a ritual in which the viewer consciously or unconsciously regains contact with the higher realms of consciousness embodied by intuition, mystical unity, and divine play. We are the continuous and conscious witness to our own evolution

My goal is to bring the viewer in touch with the living global tradition of the search for self-realization and unity with the Divine that is as old as the insight that we are each a part of the great interconnected web of life.

At the level of current art history, I hope to challenge traditional European commodity-driven traditions which reflect our materialistic, over-competitive, misogynistic thanatos-culture.

I never separate my role as priestess and disciple of the Divine Mother from my role as artist. My work strives to initiate the viewer into a world of sacred sexual politics, where the temple and the body are interchangeable sites of transformation.

I see my work as a catalyst that can help precipitate a new mythology of sexual balance and healing, based upon equality between the sexes, unconditional love, and a shared respect for the web of life upon our dear planet Earth, embodiment of the Divine Mother herself.

 

Artist Resume

Selected Collections

The Museum of Modern Art Library/Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection, The New York Public Library, The Getty Museum, The University of Minnesota, The University of Iowa, The University of Delaware, The University of Wisconsin, The University of California-San Diego, Dartmouth and Yale & the private collections of Tom Otterness, Barbara Ess, Kiki Smith & Joseph Nechvatal

Selected Installations & Publications & Exhibitions

2011

Group Show Printed Matter in New York City, NY, The Colab Show

2003
Group Show The
University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson, Arizona Love &/Or Terror: A Book Arts Exhibition-August & September 2003

2001
When Will The Book Be Done
–Published by Granary Books

1997-1998
Private Showings of Photographs & Cyber Art- worked on Cyber Business Development

1996
Talkback Magazine-Lehman College-Internet Magazine

1995
Group Show Forum For Contemporary Art in St.Louis, Mo
New Media Magazine March Issue-Portrait of Michelle Fischer of Pac Bell

1994
Artists Space- Artists Select- Recommended by Tom Otterness
The Berman Museum of Art- Ursinus College, Pa.-Venus Unbound
Request Magazine Nov. Techno Issue- Portrait of Sinead O'Connor

1993
Three Exhibitions at Granary Books Gallery in NYC-including a Solo Exhibition in conjunction with the publication of limited edition Venus Unbound - a 48 page artist book printed from plates made from original paintings with text culled from a dozen years of dream journals-41 copies made 2 Artist Proofs

1992
Group Shows include Granary Books Gallery in NYC, Herron Test Site Gallery in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, & The Triplex Gallery-Borough of Manhattan Community College

1991
Group Show 80 Washington Square East Gallery in NYC-curated by Brook Alexander

1990
Group Shows include
Lawndale East End Show-University of Houston & The Commerce Street Warehouse-both in Houston, Tx

1989
Group Show Susanna Sheffield Gallery & Solo Exhibition Little
Egypt Gallery-both in Houston, Tx

1988
Group Shows include Susanna Sheffield Gallery, Houston Art League's Art Against Aids-curated by Ibsen Espada, Lawndale East End Show-University of Houston, & Diverse Works all in
Houston, Tx

Solo Shows include Harris County Public Library & Diverse Works Bookstore- both in Houston, Tx

1979-1987
Group Shows include Tin Pan Alley, ABC No Rio Gallery, A Space-curated by Arlene Raven,
AIR Gallery- curated by Lucy Lippard, Printed Matter with Mike Glier, The Library Show with Barbara Ess -all in NYC, Denmark

1979-1987
Group Shows by Collaborative Projects include The Times Square Show- curated by John Ahearn & Tom Otterness, Doctors & Dentists Show- curated by Robin Winters, The Manifesto Show- curated by Jenny Holzer & Coleen Fitzgibbons in NYC

Film, Video, & Performance

 

1977-1985
Performances at various NYC Cabarets & Clubs including La Mama Theater Cabaret, The Pyramid Club, & ABC No Rio -all in NYC & Rudyard's & Diverse Works in Houston, Tx

Live Cable Performances on Channel C in NYC, Experimental Super-8 Docu-Drama Topless with Cara Perlman screened at The Mud Club, Club 57, Tier 3, O.P.Cinema, The Times Square Show-all in NYC & screened in conjunction with the publication of Sehr Gut-the magazine-in West Berlin , Germany

Bibliography

Houston Post, Blonde on Blonde, Public News- in Houston, Tx
Granary Books, ABC No Rio, East Village Eye, Artforum, Spanner Magazine, Art News- in NYC
Morning Call in Allentown, Pa & The Arts Connection of Bucks-Mont Courier in Harleysville, Pa

Education

Born
6-27-53
Jan.1971 Graduated The Wheatley School, Old Westbury, NY with honors
1973-1974 Art Classes at SUNY at Geneseo, NY
1975 Awarded Full BFA Scholarship to Parson's School of Design
1977-1978 Art Classes at CUNY at Hunter