Mary Engel has a lifelong fascination by the animal archetypes as it is found in diverse cultures. We know that the first intentional burials with ritual objects occurred 35,000 years ago and, with them, the first expressions of human faith appeared. Among these objects, a predominant burial image was the animal. The use of ritualized animal images has had enduring religious, mythic, and aesthetic significance. For Mary, these images symbolize a bridge between the rational and instinctual worlds. Through her work, she aspires to create whimsical, animated creatures using gesture and ‘movement’ to capture a presence she feels animals possess.
Mary uses found objects as her main material. She travels all around the world collecting objects which she then organizes in her studio based on color. So rather than an artist’s usual tube of black paint, Mary pulls from a drawer filled with black objects ranging anywhere from small watch faces to tiny scottie dog figurines.
21” x 33” x 12”
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Featured at The Vendue – Charleston’s Art Hotel.