Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it. - Michelangelo
There is a revealing that takes place in the process of Mary Meyer – a synergy between artist and medium that allows for something to emerge.
It would seem that it is for Mary, as it is for many artists, the process of creation is a connection to the divine.
What are you presently inspired by?
The minutia of the landscape; the observation and touch of organic form and natural found objects; the related shapes, patterns and symmetries found in the anatomy of botanical life; the human figure. The tiny correspondences that structure the world are a constant source of inspiration. We are reflected in so many diverse things. I often use reflective components within my work: cast metal, graphite, found objects. They serve as subtle reminders of how we are mirrored throughout our world.
Biological science is another source of inspiration. I am fascinated with microscopic images and find them quite beautiful. There is an internalized energy apparent in cell structures that I relate to and recognize in the forms that I create.
Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting?
For the past few years Iʹve been incorporating photography into my work, and utilizing very simplified digital images of trees and plant life. There is an immediacy that I enjoy with photography that is unlike any other process. Images I capture while exploring nature become the seeds by which something else manifests.
I am currently finishing up my 1st annual fifty series: fifty 5 x 5 x 2 inch works that utilize these photographic studies of botanical form. The series is comprised of stitched pigment prints on layered watercolor paper, laminated onto blocks of alder wood. The works are inspired by this years travels and hiking excursions around Arizona, Colorado and Idaho. Each piece represents a memory; a particular moment in time and place.
I typically have several projects going at once, and always work in series—creating multiples that evolve organically and allow intuitive exploration of shape and texture.
Other than your art practice what other work do you do?
I work part time as an adjunct professor teaching 3D Design, as well as occasional sculptureworkshops for local youth organizations. I really enjoy working with beginning students and helping them develop their own unique artistic voice. They keep me young, and I learn just as much from them as they do from me, if not more .
Who taught you the most about art? What artists have influenced your work?
Throughout my journey as an artist, Iʹve been very fortunate to have had many wonderful mentors. A big turning point for my artistic development came when I took my first stone carving class. It was then that I fell in love with sculpture and process. I was taught in the
direct carving method: working intuitively with the stone and letting the form develop without preconceived ideas, a la Brancusi.
I relate most to process driven artists who work this way, such as contemporary stone carver Peter Randall‐Page. He speaks to the spirituality of materials, and how the materials are there to make something else happen, to manifest an energy. Also, there is an emphasis on repetition as a way to access the imagination, the subconscious. He has a very transcendental, ritualistic approach to his work that I identify with, and an interest in how objects affect the emotional response of the viewer.
Describe a quality you have retained since childhood?
I have a very curious nature, and have always been intrigued by the relationship between volume and surface, the inner structure that describes outer form, and slicing things open to see whatʹs inside. Years ago I created a piece titled Dissections which was comprised of various forms of halved fruits and vegetables cast in iron, and presented on butcher block tables. I still explore the idea of dissection in my work. Iʹm drawn to it aesthically and conceptually. It speaks of duality of self, notions of identity, roles we play or are expected to play. Opposing sides are needed for balance.
Words to live by; a favorite quote or motto?
The body repeats the landscape. They are the source of each other and create each other. ~ Meridel Le Sueur
The true wonder of the world is available everywhere, in the minutest parts of our bodies, in the vast expanses of the cosmos, and in the interconnectedness of these and all things. ~ Michael Stark
Mary Meyer is one of the talented artists you'll see at uBe Art and the juried exhibiton, From Where I Stand.