In Greek mythology, Daphne is a nymph who is transformed into a tree to save her from the god Apollo’s unwanted advances. That moment of Daphne’s transformation from a woman into a tree has been repeated throughout art history. Eleanor Spiess-Ferris’s figures often are depicted as hybrid creature – part human and part natural form. Trees and birds especially become attributes of the human figure in her work, an acknowledgement of the reciprocal relationship we have with the natural world as a place of both solace and struggle. Her figures are narrative bodies, telling stories of personal, spiritual and environmental crises. This exhibition of over 40 years of painting and drawing by the Chicago artist traces the development of her distinctive figures across her career and compares studies and sketches with final works.  Doug Stapleton of the Illinois State Museum is the curator. illinoisstatemuseum.org. Daphne’s Sister Daily through Feb 16, 2020 Illinois State Museum 502 S. Spring St. 217-782-7386

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