I wish that I could say that I have a fundamental awareness of where my practice had stemmed from. Ultimately it has comes from life experience… heartbreak, love, self indulgence, overcoming hurdles, these were my chief motivators of my work over the past 15 years. My sculptural work has consisted of a wide range of materials including steel, wood, paper, resins, recycled materials, etc. The materials have to work with the idea and the idea with the materials.
My training as an artist initially was to become an educator receiving my BFA and Art Education Certification from Arcadia University. This course of study allowed me to experience many disciplines and I chose the area of small metals and jewelry as a focus. It is a medium which careful planning and precision is always a factor and is open to combining many other materials. My background as an educator fuels my goals to learn more to teach more. I have embarked on making larger scale public works with my partner, Doug Mott, and we have made six large scale works out of recycled materials and collaborated on several gallery shows.
During my course of study at the Burren College of Art, in the rural Irish countryside, I began to research and develop a practice more community based and environmentally focused. This shift in theory and methodology helped me to develop awareness about art and ecology, its representation and the power of the combination to grow awareness through creative solutions, which has been foundational to the way I think about the process of producing and communicating through art.
The ethical and aesthetic challenges posed by the breaking down of ecological subjects, such as climate change, food systems and basic resources, reveal a head-in-the-sand mentality that we have traditionally learned to think. “Not in my lifetime,” is a common response to the plight of the future of our food growing natural resources. Shifting the focus to highlight the subject to the viewer by allowing them to become physically involved with the work through participation, can lead to careful consideration of the challenges of change, but also the need for change. The audience must look to what they can do to make change. When we stop favoring the viewer and implicate him/her, the opportunities to think through ecological issues ethically, aesthetically, and politically, come to the foreground.
Maryann Worrell (1969, Philadelphia, United States) creates installations, sculpture and mixed media artworks. Worrell investigates the dynamics of the plight of food resources, including manipulations by large corporations and governments, climate change and personal responsibilities, and details the limitations of these resources in a multi-layered system, which may involve the viewer to explore the subject in a physical manner.
The Burren Experience
I had the extreme pleasure of working on my M.A. in Art and Ecology at the Burren College of Art located in the beautiful West of Ireland in the small village of Ballyvaughan.
There is something truly magical about this area with its limestone pavements, lush green grasslands, hearty livestock and breezes from bay. This was the perfect place to learn, discover and create but also to develop relationships to last a lifetime, as the people are as lovely as the place they live.