Of Becoming

Mary Grisey

All images by and courtesy the artist. All photos: Thomas Blanchard.

How do we understand, connect with and react to traces of the metaphysical? My work is about becoming, a process that encompasses both doing and undoing; energy goes into my materials and then there is a natural or simulated process of destruction. Transformation is central to my practice: a metamorphosis that reveals the ruin and beauty of both the body and the psyche. With the intention of revealing layers and residual deterioration, I unravel, scratch, burn and peel parts of the work. I use many natural materials in my practice—particularly linen, sisal rope and dye—which exude a distinct smell and permeate the senses before the demanding visuality commands attention. This address to the olfactory helps to create an active environment rather than a static installation.

Of-Becoming---Gallery-shot

Of Becoming, gallery shot, 2014.

I am fascinated by the connection between the physical and metaphysical, and, in this vein, I take ancient mythology, metamorphosis, ruination and entropy as inspirations in my work. Like ruins, my works are only remnants of what was once whole; they are inscribed with traces of their previous life, death endured and the hereafter. My works embody these remnants that prefigure thought and feeling.

For Lethe, 2014, Hand-dyed sisal, rusted steel. 10' x 8' x 4'

For Lethe, 2014, Hand-dyed sisal rope, rusted steel. 10 x 8 x 4 feet.

For Lethe detail, 2014, Hand-dyed sisal, rusted steel. 10' x 8' x 4'

For Lethe (detail), 2014, Hand-dyed sisal rope, rusted steel. 10 x 8 x 4 feet.

 Remains of the Ephemeral IV, I, III, II 2014

Remains of the Ephemeral IV, I, III, II, 2014, Woven sculptures. Dimensions variable.

Philomela: In Muted Lament 2014 5" x 8" x 5' Ceramic and Hand-dyed linen

Philomela: In Muted Lament, 2014, Ceramic and hand-dyed linen. 5 x 8 x 66 inches.

Shrouds 2014 8' x 6' x 4' Hand-dyed linen, horsehair and bleach Photo credit: Thomas Blanchard

Shrouds, 2014, Hand-dyed linen, horsehair and bleach. 8 x 6 x 4 feet.

Shrouds detail view

Shrouds (detail), 2014, Hand-dyed linen, horsehair and bleach. 8 x 6 x 4 feet.

 Cradling: In Ruins 2014 6' x 5' x 4' Found barn wood, hand-dyed and burned sisal  Photo credit: Thomas Blanchard

Cradling: In Ruins, 2014, Found barn wood, hand-dyed and burned sisal rope. 6 x 5 x 4 feet.



Mary Grisey is an installation artist from San Francisco, California. She received a BFA in Fiber and Material Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2008) and a BA in Painting and Drawing from Marist College (2006). She has exhibited her work across the United States and Canada including shows in New York City, Chicago, Kentucky, San Francisco and Toronto. She recently completed her MFA in the Visual Arts program at York University in Toronto (2014) and will be attending the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency in the fall of 2014. marygrisey.com