Poetry of Earth: Works by Sally Bradley and Stephen Hawks
May 31 – October 11, 2015
The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s–he takes the lead
In summer luxury,–he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
–On the Grasshopper and Cricket by John Keats
Poetry of Earth highlights the work of two local artists whose works intersect with art and nature. Sally Bradley paints landscape views of the Chattahoochee Valley, and Stephen Hawks produces ceramic works using Georgia clay. The title of the exhibition is inspired by John Keats’ On the Grasshopper and Cricket; the first line says “The poetry of earth is never dead.” In this poem he expresses his appreciation for the continuous cycle of change in the natural world and celebrates the harmony found in both poetry and nature. The works included in Poetry of Earth serve as inspiration for poems that accompany the work on display in the exhibition.
Sally Bradley’s work deals with construction and deconstruction, creating landscapes from layers of collaged paper and acrylic paint. The work develops with multiple and simultaneous perspectives of the subject matter, and it raises questions about human intervention into the environment.
Stephen Hawks, who was the potter in residence at Historic Westville for almost 20 years, uses local clay and inventive glazing techniques. He has perfected his skill in throwing all sizes and shapes of traditional pottery forms, but recently he has begun creating abstract sculptural pieces that are investigations into the nature of form and the relationships of objects in space.
This exhibition is generously underwritten by the George and Ann Swift Family Foundation, Inc. and the Friends of Santa Fe.