Traditionally a symbol of wisdom, enlightenment, death and transition, the owl was also a favorite form of the Roman Goddess Minerva. Although fierce in battle, Minerva was also known for her wisdom and restraint. She played an important role in handcraft, agriculture and is credited with a score of inventions. She also has the distinction of being born parthenogenically (without a mother) through Zeus’s forehead. The barn owl, with its alien face and unearthly beauty, seems too like it simply sprang into being, the lone and elegant brain-child of a midnight god.
“Barn owls are one of my favorite subjects,” related artist Denman. “Their unusual, heart-shaped faces, long, lanky legs and habit of nesting almost exclusively in man-made structures make them unique among owls. When in the presence of one of these majestic birds, it’s not hard to imagine why owls have such a rich history of symbolic import.”