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Facts and Fables: Stories of the Natural World

In 2011, Susan Hagen's carvings were on display outdoors at the Schuykill Center in Philadelphia, PA. Hagen's part of of the group exhibit, Facts and Fables, was an outdoor installation of hand-carved wood sculptures of animals to memorialize the thousands of animals killed, harmed or endangered by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Her sculptures are carved from white cedar, weathered outdoors, and mounted on stainless steel rods. The installation allowed viewers to visualize the animals directly affected by the oil spill, as well as to consider the long-term repercussions of our reliance on fossil fuels.

Review in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/17/11

Exhibition Statement:
A group exhibition of seven site-specific works about stories of our natural world, with a variety of artistic perspectives, from fictional to factual. This exhibition asks important questions about the human experience of the environment: How do stories affect our understanding of nature? How do we represent our environmental impact? What is true nature and what is fabricated, and how can we tell the difference? Is our experience of nature limited by our human abilities to sense the world around us? The seven artists use diverse methods to address such questions: memorials, guidebooks, faux landscapes, fairy tale crime scenes, live video feeds, visual perception tracking, distortion of scale, predictions and invitations. Some artists tell stories, while others examine the ways stories are created, or retell old stories to unearth new ideas. These artists combine antiquated methods with innovative technology to offer the viewer a range of experience and ways to interact with the natural world.

This exhibition wass made possible by a generous multi-year grant from The William Penn Foundation.

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
8480 Hagy's Mill Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19128


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