In Phyllis Ewen’s Sculptural Drawings, water becomes a metaphor for a life force that resists being controlled. Through a focus on water’s cultural and social history, she looks at issues of fertility and drought, abundance and scarcity, turbulence and quiet.
Ewen builds 3-dimensional topographies through layering, altering, and reshaping archival paper. Beginning with scanned charts, maps and photos digitally printed, she adds paint and text, creating transformed landscapes. Life-giving waterways have been contested, diverted, polluted, and exhausted by human intervention. In her series, Thinking Like a River and Northern Waters, she explores ways in which our imagination and memory interact with our altered natural world.
My work exists at the intersection of sculpture and drawing, becoming ‘installation’. I usually work in series and the component parts are installed in relation to one another and to the space in between. Linear elements articulate the objects, and delineate the space around and in between, creating a conversation among the parts of an installation. Most recently I have begun exploring the use of text both as a visual element and a way of integrating two-dimensional and three-dimensional aspects of my work.
I have also done numerous outdoor installations: whimsical interventions into the environment that comment on our relationship with the natural world. I worked with a community garden to design and fabricate a solar fountain and am scheduled to design a glass fountain for an art center being developed over the next year.