Sharon Strong Artist


The genesis for the trilogy, To Know The Dark, was the Butte Fire. My husband and I were in Bolivia when we learned the fire that started on September 9, 2015 was raging over thousands of acres in Calaveras County, Northern California, where I lived. Hundreds of people lost their homes. My studio burned to the ground with all of my art materials, books and irreplaceable art work, including an installation I had been working on for two years.

When we returned to the U.S. and drove up the dirt road to my property, all that was left was charred trees, ash and blackened earth as far as the eye could see. Nothing recognizable was left in my studio except the bound pages of my books, laying where my library had been, each page a perfect ash with all of the words burned off. What meaning could I make of this? In the aftermath, the words of two poets became the inspiration for this series, a trilogy entitled To Know The Dark.

To know the dark, go dark
go without sight
and find that the dark, too
blooms and sings
and is travelled by dark feet
and dark wings.

Wendell Berry


Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen