11" x 7" Polymer Clay Mosaic
Our Lady of Expectation
20" x 28" African Fertility Mask
33" x 37" African Fertility Mask
36" Circle 1950's Wooden Card Table Top
Found Object Sculpture
She Can Fly
12" x 25" Mixed Media
Faces of Grace
57" x 82" x 25" depth at deepest point
"Not all treasure's silver and gold, mate."
(Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl)
Actually, none of my best "assemblage" treasures have been gold, or even silver-plated. They're dusty, rusty, and musty to the point they can make me sneeze. But hey, I've found antique window locks, corroded old tape measures and flashlights, a battered wood plate from the 1800's, Victorian appliques, dragon-shaped table legs, and nostalgic pearl collars. Can you believe someone discarded a vintage set of black and maroon feathered flamenco dancer wings? And there was the assortment of African fertility masks in various stages of disrepair that took my breath away when I spotted them. I've even "scored" boxes of never-used glass rhinestones brought to New York from Germany in the 1930's, still wrapped in their original crumbling tissue paper.
These pieces don't give many clues about their original use or identity but they have a story to tell. Fully aware of that, I'm that eccentric woman you see at estate sales, rummaging through falling apart boxes of broken old things, searching for the diamond-in-the-rough that I KNOW is waiting for me. It might be disguised as a scrap of molding, a fancy piece of decorative hardware, or an unusual weathered cow bone, but I'll recognize it.
My good-sport husband has accompanied me into dirty storage rooms, barns, and sheds littered with piles of "stuff" in which the owners have promised me the reward of The Find. On one such outing there was even a trail of sparkly rhinestones out into the desert from the pack rats who likewise admired glittery objects.
"Where do you GET this stuff?" is a common question. The answer is that it often finds me. I have Craigslist's garage sales in my "Favorites" and I'm forever browsing back corners and bottom shelves of thrift and antique stores. To me, flea markets are more fun than a party, movie, or fancy dinner. I admit the thrill of the hunt is addictive as I search for . . . well, I have no idea what I'm searching for but when I find it, I'll know.
I'm also blessed that people gift me with incredible cast-offs. And I sometimes stumble upon a plethora of great "junque" just waiting for me to rescue it so it can be re-purposed into a piece of art. (I often imagine my muse chuckling as she directs me to another "lead" to follow.)
It's re-cycling, re-birth, and re-invention at its best. My husband doesn't even question my strange purchases anymore. He now knows that odd funky thing I can't live without will be exactly what I'll eventually need to attach to some other weird but interesting item to perfectly complete an eclectic and unique assemblage.
Evidently when I made milk carton art in the first grade, I caught a chronic case of the "what can I do with THIS?" bug and it went straight to my heart. It's not uncommon for me to finally find the clock in the midst of the assorted objects lying all over my art studio and discover it's 2 AM. Combining old objects in new ways feeds my soul. When I'm asked: "What IS that?" or "Where did it come from?" I usually don't know. And that's what I love best. Each piece of assemblage art can weave its own tale of visual imagery and create its own past, present, and future legend.
Faces of Grace: A Visual Altar of Possibilities
Faces of Grace was created as a three dimensional prayer and blessing. It has dynamic yet serene Sacred Feminine energy and draws you into its many images and adornments. It is an unparalleled meditation environment and is beautiful from all sides as the back is finished in iridescent fabric from India along with an embellished heart design.
"Faces of Grace is at once a magnificent piece of art and an intimate spiritual experience. Marie has imbued it with a thousand beautiful details, reflecting the rich dimension of our collective spiritual journeys, and offering a soul-level inspiration."
Judy Schwiebert, Global Spirit
"Your soul will experience grace when in the presence of this stunning, magnificent work of art. You'll return time and again to notice new details and forms as they emerge into your consciousness. I've never experienced anything like it and trust that it will bring wholeness and healing to all those privileged to be in its presence."
Marilyn Rampley, Shadow Rock UCC and Whole Life Center
Faces of Grace is currently on exhibit at Shadow Rock UCC in Phoenix.