Every day we make countless attempts to memorialize our experiences. We snap photographs, collect souvenirs, and spend hours re-imagining past events. Collectively, we hoard objects in museums, build altarpieces, and canonize stories in books and theater. Through various forms of representation, we create surrogates for the irretrievable histories we long to preserve. However, efforts to present complete and accurate versions of history are often romanticized abstractions. Mary’s work focuses on the notion that we replace our lived experiences with ideologies fabricated from factual knowledge, personal mythology, and collectively built archetypes. She modifies perspective to create flattened worlds that call attention to the contradictory nature of pictorial space. Reminiscent of paper dolls, theater sets, and miniatures, her work describes painting as an act of staging – the representation of a constructed and idealized world.
Mary builds imagery by altering information observed from my surroundings. Forms are gathered from the architectural details of both private and public spaces, and the objects and idiosyncratic characteristics they contain. Her process involves looking for nuances that anchor our memories to a specific time and place. At the same time, she reduces imagery to essential information to reflect the way our memory works as a filtration system. While her approach to painting is initially based on perception, the work undergoes several layers of interpretation by including imagined forms and color relationships. Her goal is to make works that appear both specific and nondescript to characterize the challenging relationship between memory and imagination.
During the residency Mary will continue her work on the abstract representation of objects and sites by using the geographical and architectural history of Corris as a resevoir for research. She is particularly interested in developing a project that explores how local communities memorialize the past through archive, storytelling, and object/structure preservation. Using her process of direct observation and interpretation she would produce works that reflect the contributions of both standard knowledge and individual subjectivities in shaping the identity of a place.