In this work I have chosen to represent 14 animals, seven as “gods” and seven as demon based on how they are used in human folklore and symbolism. The pages fold into a triptych, the first page being having text that introduces the animal in their natural environment. The following two pages are meant t to represent the animal’s response to their place in human’s taxonomy.
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A Cabinet of Curiosities refers to scientific/natural history collections made by scholars, nobleman and wealthy merchants in the 17th centaury that were meant to express the collector?s erudition and wealth. The objects collected were of diverse subjects often of the natural world: sea-shells, insects in amber, fossils, skeletons of real (and factious) animals, but they also included jewelry, carved ivory, scientific instruments, spheres, clocks or musical instruments. I have long wanted to develop a book on the theme of these “cabinets” using the Wagner Free Institute as a resource. I was fortunate in being able to partner with the librarian of the Wagner in 07, and developed this work form the research I did on site.
One copy available for purchase
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This book is my response to a call for proposals from book artists to create a work based one of 10 titles from The Athenaeum of Philadelphia’s collection. I chose Jacob Weidenman’s, Beautifying Country Homes, and a Handbook of Landscape Gardening. The impetus for this choice was my own love of gardening, and recent discovery of the term Zoophyte, which refers to the archaic scientific belief that certain plants evolved into animals. This is a unique bookwork with seven scanned graphite drawings, embossed pages, and a faux scientific text. The cover includes a diorama containing a “zoophyte”
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The term Genius Loci was used in classical Roman religion to identify the protective spirit of a place. In contemporary usage it refers to the distinctive spirit of a specific place. For me this notion is embodied in the space of an open field, as the eye sweeps across a space held in place by the horizon.
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A Medieval book format used to explore the theme of night.
Media is gouache on elephant hide paper, bound into a leather case that holds the folded pages. They measure 3” x 6” closed, and 8.5” x 6.5” open.  Held in private collection.
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A Medieval book format used to explore the theme of Rivers
Media is gouache on elephant hide paper, bound into a leather case that holds the folded pages. They measure 3” x 6” closed, and 8.5” x 6.5” open. Held in private collection.
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SAGE | $600
This work is a collaboration with poet Beth Feldman Brandt who was inspired by The Herbal: or General history of plants”(1633) by John Gerard, that she studied in the Rare Book Collection of the Lendhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Many of the plants attributes were defined by the four humors, which included the four elements, four ages of men, and the seasons. Owen made four paintings that embodied these notions, and used these images in the book.
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A Serpents Ear was made in response to a call for entries by the Philadelphia Athenaeum for the exhibit “The Decorated Book: Continuing a Tradition” The piece was chosen and exhibited at the Athenaeum , 219 S 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA from December 2, 2011 through March 15th 2012 In The Serpents Ear I have used a real snake skin found in my garden, which is seemingly without tear and complete including the opened mouth and head. The completeness of this artifact inspired me to consider it for an art work. I wrote a poem to give voice to the creature enclosed.
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Diptych referencing religious imagery as it was made for private devotion
The raised image is made with modeling paste and the painted form uses gouache.
The piece measures 9” x 12”. Held in private collection.

A unique bookwork that was later developed into a limited edition.
The images are made using altered Xeroxes and the text is hand written.
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