The mixed media installation of artist Mary Dunn will be on exhibition in our Second Floor Gallery during July and August.
So Great a Cloud by Mary Dunn
Crocheted and knitted infant hats (acrylic and cotton yarn), Varied Dimensions
Below: Alternate view
“I have an innate desire to visually record moments in time. This impulse manifested first as figurative drawings and paintings. Today, instead of recording literal moments, my work more often references something happening internally, its roots in the thoughts that occupy me daily as opposed to scenes positioned before my eyes. The external has also become a source, as I explore and highlight social or cultural phenomena through artmaking. While working mimetically remains an important part of my practice, much of my art has moved toward abstraction. The physicality of the body remains an important factor in my current work, although it may only be suggested.”
“The contemporary revitalization of craft media – particularly crochet, which has been traditionally practiced by women in the home – has influenced me to engage in a more craft- or textile-based approach. Crochet stirs memories of time spent in quiet moments with family and friends, and references a history of service and gift-giving. Textiles indicate clothing, invite touching, and imply protection and warmth. The action of crochet is also metaphorical – many loops suggest a community of individuals who, together, make a whole. Repetitive, tedious action leaves a record of invested time and labor.”
“Working in crochet has allowed me to move out from the wall, away from illusionistic space and into actual space. Formal arrangements of everyday objects or materials bring to mind the stuff of the real world; taken out of context, they begin to transform, conveying meaning beyond their function. Not only is my art made from commonplace things, I create it in my home, a fundamentally domestic space. Working surrounded by the effects of daily activity, my life and art become inseparable. Although some pieces are three-dimensional, I continue to pull from my drawing and painting background. Colored yarn replaces paint; string is a twisting, looping line, connecting back to a history of artists and craftspeople, as well as to my own creative beginnings.”
— Mary Dunn
I spent my childhood in a small North Louisiana town surrounded by family, many of whom were constantly making beautiful things. My mom was my first drawing teacher, my grandmothers tirelessly crafted both family meals and family heirlooms, and my dad cultivated and arranged roses. I inherited their desire to create.
After graduating with a BFA in communication design and studio art, I moved to the Dallas area, where I worked as a magazine designer and illustrator and married my husband Christian. We then moved back to Louisiana, where we both earned MFA degrees from Louisiana Tech University. My focus has shifted away from design to fine art, but I continue to work as a freelance illustrator. My art practice includes painting, drawing, and craft work such as crochet, and I continue to incorporate techniques from my design background as part of my creative process.
“Portrait of the Artist’s Grandmother II”
For more information about Mary and her work, visit her website, marybdunn.com.