The Sun 1995

Jan Owen, The Sun, 1995; Gift of Jan Owen
Jan Owen, The Sun, 1995; Gift of Jan Owen

Jan Owen is known for her exquisite calligraphic rendition of poetry. Her unique books are best displayed hanging on a wall. They include poems that she selects, which often contain deep messages relevant to today’s world.

For her work The Sun, Owen included an excerpt from William Blake’s poem “Night,” which imagines a world where a lion can lie down with a lamb. The work evokes wishful thinking for a better future. Owen wrote on patterned paste paper and illustrated the poem with gestural painting. She also wove in gold painted paper to suggest the setting sun.

Owen, a former bass player for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, also includes references to music in her books. The Sun includes phrases from Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3, also known as the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. Owen’s work contains a mother’s lament over the body of her son, and an invocation in Latin, “Hear my prayer, O Lord, in your justice hear me.”

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