October 16 – November 28, 2015
MARY IVERSON – You and Me in the Aftermath
Artist Talk + Reception: Saturday, October 17th, 1pm
Artist Reception: Thursday, November 5th, 6-8pm
This exhibit of paintings and collage work by Mary Iverson marks our first solo exhibit with the artist. A painter and public artist, Mary’s work focuses on the shipping industry and its influence on culture and the environment. In 2015, her work was featured on the cover of Juxtapoz Magazine’s environmental issue. Mary’s paintings have exhibited nationally and internationally. She is a tenured faculty member at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, WA where she teaches painting, drawing, and public art.
Mary’s work is included in the corporate collections of Microsoft, Starbucks, Converse, Sounders FC, Nordstrom, Group Health Cooperative, Evergreen Hospital and Evergreen Shipping Lines. Public collections include University of Washington Medical Center, City of Seattle, 4Culture King County Art in Public Places, City of Missoula, Tacoma Power, Puget Sound Energy, Peninsula College, Shoreline Community College, Washington State Arts Commission, Western Washington University, among others. Mary lives with her husband in Seattle, WA.
For many years, I have been inserting shipping containers and shipwrecks into pristine landscapes, inspiring conversations about the relationship between the environment and industrial activities. In my current body of work, I have brought the figure into the scene, adding another layer to the narrative.
What I propose through my imagery is a future scenario in which it appears that a natural disaster and an industrial disaster have occurred simultaneously. In this surreal, post-apocalyptic world, my figures have survived the worst and are walking through the rubble, traversing obstacles and seemingly helping one another to safety. In some scenes they appear to be sightseeing in this strange future, where stray shipping containers, strewn about the landscape, have become the new sight to marvel at.
The technique and style of painting that I employ echo the narrative’s sentiment, that our precious world has been ruined in some way that could have been prevented. Indeed, as I slice my white perspective lines into the painstakingly crafted, illusionistic surface of the painting, I hear the question that is asked of me so often: “why do you have to ruin the landscape, it’s so beautiful.” The imagery itself, painted in a style that echoes the glowing light of the Luminist painters of the American West, harkens back to a time when there were vast lands to explore, and where one could find wonder and awe. In our modern world, there is no such frontier, but after the cataclysm that most of us feel is coming due to climate change, there will be a new sublime to inspire and frighten us.