MARY O'MALLEY

Artist Statement - Super Natural

 

My work begins with a fascination with nature and natural processes in all its complexity and richness.  My most recent body of work consists of tightly rendered ink drawings on paper, mostly kept to a minimum palette of silver and gold inks on black or white.  I draw inspiration from the unpredictable and wild side of nature, combined with a hybrid of images from many sources—botanical illustration, microscopic scientific imagery, the baroque and Victorian decorative arts, architecture, textile patterns, etc.  These diverse elements come together to create an imaginary landscape of fecund abundance.  The ambiguity of the forms is important, whether or not they are in the process of becoming, of evolving and multiplying, or beginning to break down and decay.  They exist somewhere between the wild irrationality of nature and the rigorous orderliness of lace patterns.  I am most interested in them when they go too far, become a bit ostentatious, spiral out of control.  I am interested in a kind of hysterical beauty, which becomes blatantly sensuous, silly, unapologetically pretty, boldly decorative, and aggressively feminine. I want them to embody the spirit of a gaudy chandelier dripping with crystals and lights, a blinding, ridiculous beauty that attracts and repels. These landscapes hold a tension between the seen and unseen, fantasy and reality, creating a topography that is otherworldly, vast, ephemeral and evergrowing.