Menagerie will be a display of dozens of pieces of artist Erin Cramer’s sculptural work, much of which she describes as “vegan taxidermy,” astonishingly constructed from plant fiber. Some works incorporate other media and various found materials, but the fiber sculpture is the hallmark of her art.
Stunningly life-like animal mounts will be installed adjacent to imaginative creatures that call comparisons with the curiosities of Hieronymus Bosch. The artist invites the viewer to make a trip between the natural and supernatural dimensions. “My hope is to engage viewers through approachable art that will spark a curiosity of the mystery and playfulness of the natural world,” Cramer says.
Erin uses hand papermaking to depict animal specimens both real and imagined. “Handmade paper’s seductive versatility allows me to create light weight works of art that look like they are made out of anything from concrete to skin,” she says. “The fibers I use to make paper include flax, hemp, cotton, abaca, kozo, recycled clothing, and recycled scrap papers.”
Ms. Cramer has attracted a wide circle of admirerers including artist/colleague Kerri Mommer who declares, “…. viewers should be prepared to experience a shift in worldview as they might also encounter a creature that is not of the familiar world—such as a half-human llama or a desiccated mermaid.” And fantasy maximalist Rick Therrio states enthusiastically, “Erin can do realistic looking animals well, sure. But she can also create imaginary creatures that are completely convincing!”
Erin has exhibited nationally and internationally and she has work in several public and private collections including The Flat Iron Press in New Orleans, The Kansas City Art Institute, and The Flasch Collection at The Art Institute of Chicago. Erin received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago in 2009. She currently works as a freelance artist and teaches in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
We hope you have an opportunity to attend the opening reception. The exhibit will remain installed through October 26th. Paul Henry’s Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11AM til 5:30PM. For additional information or to make an appointment outside of regular hours, please call 219-678-5015