Mary Sweeney | Gathering
Saturday, August 11th, Artist Talk 3 PM
Opening Reception 4-6 PM
Mary Sweeney’s work centers on replication, simulation, and the ability to evoke empathy in the viewer. Organic materials gathered from her garden are essential as the natural cycles of growth and decay are the core of her work. Through a spectrum of mediums, such as porcelain, wax, and graphite, the organic matter becomes a frozen moment in time and a meditation on transience and permanence. This preservation process implies a reverence for life and respect for the incredible fragility of peace, humanity, and nature. The images she chooses to work with are often a stand-in for the human figure and allude to contemporary social concerns of power and vulnerability. Her intention is to offer a space for reflection and invite the viewer to pause by creating a static moment.
Sweeney conducts experiments using materials gathered from her garden along with porcelain and paper. The ceramic leaf piles are made from thousands of leaves the artist has collected around her home. The dry leaves are coated in porcelain slip. Through this method, she encases the leaf, which is later burned away by the firing process, leaving a ghostly white permanent manifestation of the seasonal leaf. Extracted from the natural cycles of growth and decay, the piles of leaves become a frozen moment in time, and a meditation on transience and permanence.
Mary Sweeney lives and works in Cooks Falls, NY. Her work has appeared in group exhibitions throughout the country, and she has presented solo exhibitions at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and the Catskill Art Space in Livingston Manor, NY.