Artist Statement

Owen Pilgrim is a storyteller and artist whose approach to the crafts of storytelling & sculpture are in keeping with their natural purposes for creativity, understanding, community, connection, entertainment, and instruction.

As a storyteller Owen researches stories that are part of the living tradition of many cultures and highlights the relevance of those stories for us today. His interest lies in the creative potential of art and storytelling, elements that are intrinsic to these crafts yet can be overlooked. Myths hold the keys for helping us to understand our place in the world and to the inner workings of ourselves and how we relate to each other and to the earth. Stories have a way of connnecting us to each other, to nature, to the history of our cultures, to the present, and to the hidden realms all at the same time, stories bring worlds together and cross barriers that are difficult or impossible to cross in any other way.

With all different age groups, from preschool to adult, and in many diverse, and sometimes quite odd, situations Owen has woven his tales. Many times the stories are woven around a theme, to give them shape and purpose, often the environment dictates the stories that are asking be told and how to tell them.

Owen offers workshops to children and adults taking people into the essence of the story. The workshop becomes a space for creativity and discovery. By working with the threads presented in the stories, the personal significance becomes relevant. As we come to identify with the characters, events, journeys, struggles and triumphs in a story there comes a realization that these elements represent aspects of ourselves and there is a relevance becomes clear through the identification and exploration of these archetypes. The use of art in workshops brings us deeper into the meaning of the stories and gives it an expression in physical form, also it satisifies the human need for a more full sensory experience.

In his artwork Owen explores the archetypes of myth and the possibility of form, usually in wood. For many years he has been working with wood and woodcarving, finding a conversation with wood and exploring the possibilities that the material may offer. Each wood has its own unique way of speaking and expression. Much of Owen's work has been undertaken on a commission or project basis. He is very enthusiastic about new projects and creating work to serve specific needs or ideas. As much as possible natural & sustainably-sourced materials are used for the creation of the artwork.

Many art projects have seen Owen engaging with groups and communities to develop a vision or idea and bring it into physical form. Sometimes this is done through stories and words, other times there is a focus on the practical craft side of the work, whether that be through woodcarving, green woodwork, or the use of natural materials.

Owen also works part-time as a forest school leader with a nursery where he helps the children to explore the forest, to awaken and encourage engagement with the natural world, and to facilitate craft activities using natural materials. He can also plan, develop, & facilitate forest school sessions for any group.