The solo exhibition runs from October 15th to December 15th, giving audiences a look at Bird’s natural fiber work created in the aftermath of a global pandemic and during a global social uprising. Though the pieces connect to themes that cover much history and geography, the process remains deeply personal. Bird makes her art with willow that she sustainably raises and harvests — using this material to create objects that manage both a forceful presence and a delicate form.
These pieces expand on the visual language Bird has developed over a nearly three-decade-long career. Incorporating universal patterns that form the basis of all life, most notably the spiral, the artist then expounds on this primordial level. With In Sight/Sight In, she brings this geometry into a social dimension and places it in a dialogue with the zeitgeist.
Bird’s oeuvre emerges out of the basket making tradition, turning these techniques to the creation of forms that hum with a profound spiritual sense and cosmic perspective. This higher level is always grounded in lived experience — often informed by the everyday miracle of living in a body. Her approach is developed even further with In Sight/Sight In, as the realm of society is brought into relation with the individual and the universal.
Raised just outside Milwaukee, Minnesota, Bird began her career as a Public Nurse and has since gone on to receive a Masters of Arts in Human Development from St. Mary’s University. While studying there, she developed a model for achieving wellness through art.
Bird has exhibited across the country, with shows at the Newark-Arcadia History Center, the Minnesota History Center, the National Cause Based Art Program, and more. She’s received many awards and honors, including multiple Minnesota State Art Board. Bird is a fixture in the Minnesota arts scene as a presenter, curator, writer, organizer, teacher, and advocate.
The Susan Hensel Gallery is proud to once again bring Martha Bird’s work to their online space. In Sight/Sight In encapsulates the gallery’s focus on compelling objects, meaningful use of materials, and engaging sculpture. It is a place where experimental ideas and works of the hand join to create unique sensory experiences — both in person and in the digital realm.
Click here to see In Sight;Sight In by Martha Bird beginning October 15th and running until December 15th.
Martha Bird Speaks