Donna Troy Cleary




Donna's province is assuming the persona of wise/wild woman, healer, shaman, witch.  In this role she reclaims the power of the domestic space and her ancestral legacy.  She is the descendent of a line of Irish healers on both sides of her family.  That knowledge had been lost for many generations.  She is reclaiming it through her art.

Engaging with concepts of labor, gender and desire, Donna Cleary's work questions perceived boundaries between instinct and cultural construct.  Foucault's heterotopic spaces are given a platform in her photography, video, sculpture, performances and social practice.  In a series of transformations as RN, Mother, Artist, Herbalist, Donna has grounded her art in the liminal spaces that hover between the past and present.

With diversity as a beacon, she embraces every iteration of "woman", whether identifying as genderless, masculine or the maternal with its care-based activities.  

Guided by instinct and necessity, mistakes, chance, and the accidental become part of these playful explorations that hover between pathos and humor. 


I see the wise woman... From her shoulders, a mantle of power flows.  A story band encircles her forehead.  She stitches a quilt; she spins fibers into yarn; she knits; she sews; she weaves.  She ties the threads of our lives together...

Healing Wise, Susun S. Weed